Anti binge-drinking campaigns in the UK have previously focused on younger people, but now older women are being targeted. According to Cancer Research, alcohol is the cause of around 2,000 cases of breast cancer in the UK each year. Government figures show that 20 per cent of women in the UK (4.9m) consume between 14 and 35 units a week, putting them in the hazardous drinkers category.
Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo has been quoted by the Press Association saying: “Women who regularly drink too much are 50% more likely to develop breast cancer. And many drink too much simply because they have no idea how many alcohol units they are consuming.”
Increasing rates of drinking, particularly among the middle classes, have been blamed in part on stronger wines and the fashion for bigger wine glasses, leading to confusion over how many units each glass contains. But with one 250ml glass containing up to 3.5 units, just one each evening would put a woman well over her weekly allowance.
Ms Primarolo quoted by The Times Online further said: “Professional women who drink too much – but do so without causing harm to others – have for a long time gone under the radar.”
A £10 million advertising campaign is being launched to target middle aged women who drink large glasses of wine and underestimate how much alcohol they have actually consumed. The campaign visuals feature images such as two wine glasses with no stems to resemble women’s breasts.