Scots drink 100 pints of beer yearly more than Britons – Research

New research which shows Scots drink 100 pints of beer a year more than the inhabitants of other UK nations has prompted a renewed call for alcohol prices to rise.

Scottish adults buy, on average, 24% more alcohol than the rest of Britain.

This roughly equates to Scots downing an extra two pints or beer, or two glasses of wine, every week compared to other Brits.

The NHS Health Scotland report looked at alcohol sales in the five years to 2009. It found that Scots have a preference for drinking at home – with one obvious explanation being that the alcohol sold in off-licences and supermarkets is three times cheaper per unit than that sold in pubs.

Alcohol sales in the off trade are double those of licensed premises, accounting for 68% of all drink sales and retailing at around 43p per unit.

Drink sold in pubs and restaurants is charged at £1.31 per unit and accounts for 32% of all alcohol sales.

NHS Health Scotland’s director of public health science, Dr Laurence Gruer, said raising the price of alcohol sold in shops and supermarkets would help address the problem of over consumption.

A second NHS report closely examined off trade sales and the correlation between price and over-consumption.

It revealed that a man need spend only £4.40 on cider to exceed the Government’s recommended weekly limits of 14 units for a woman and 21 units for a man.

Researchers found that 77% of all drink was sold at less than 50p a unit, 51% at 40p or less and 16% at 30p or less.

Source: Press Association

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