Portman Group Statement on NHS Digital Health Survey for England 2015


Portman Group Statement on NHS Digital Health Survey for England 2015

14 December 2016

“It is welcome that underage drinking continues to decline and is now at its lowest recorded level. This indicates that the combination of robust ID schemes, life skills education and programmes to tackle underage drinking are having a real impact.

These figures show that the majority of people consume alcohol safely and sensibly, and that more of us are drinking within low risk guidelines. Most encouragingly, the number of adults drinking at high risk levels has fallen 17% since last year. These positive trends are part of a decade-long reduction in harmful drinking and indicate that policy is on the right track.

Whilst the national picture is improving, there are still communities that suffer disproportionately from alcohol misuse. These challenges need targeted, local interventions built on strong, effective partnerships between local authorities, health services, police, businesses and the voluntary sector.”

Henry Ashworth

Chief Executive, Portman Group

NHS Digital Health Survey for England 2015

see: Adult alcohol consumption – tables [.xlsx]                                            

  • 69% of men and 84% of women do not exceed 14 units
  • The number of men and women not exceeding 14 units per week increased 3% since 2014.
  • The number of adults drinking at ‘higher risk’ levels declined 17% since 2014
  • The number of teetotallers fell by 6% since 2014
  • The number of adults drinking between 14-21 units per week (within the previous CMOs guidelines, before Jan 2016) increased 9% since 2014.
  • On average, men drank 14.9 units in a usual week (a decline of 11% since 2014)  and women drank a mean of 8.9 units.
  • Men and women in higher income households were more likely to drink over 14 units in a usual week (37% and 22% respectively) than were men and women in lower income households (29% and 9% respectively).