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The safe weekly drinking limit turned on its’ head

The safe weekly drinking limit turned on its’ head

In the past few years quite a lot of “conventional wisdom” has been turned on its’ head.

What really fucks me off about this is that a lot of the stuff that has been conventional wisdom has been actually detrimental to people’s health. For example (and I will write about this in another blog post), the idea that fat was bad for your health has been proven to be utter rubbish.

Today’s utter bullshit, and this really shocks me to find this out, is the safe drinking limit.

For years I have believed that the 21 standard drink limit was a fact. I am not a very conventional person, but for some reason, I accepted what the health authorities said about the safe drinking limit.

The thing is, the reason I believed it was that I believed that if the health authorities were saying this specific figure, it stood to reason that they were saying it was because they had done scientific testing that showed increased health problems at levels above this.

Problem is, I was wrong. Completely wrong. There was no science to back it up. Not one bit. The real story is that in 1987 the British Royal College of Physicians determined that excessive drinking was associated with adverse health outcomes, such as liver and heart disease.

Unfortunately, no one at the Royal College of Physicians had any idea what constituted excessive drinking. So they plucked the figure out of the air. Literally. Out of thin air. There was not science behind the figure whatsoever.

How does that make you feel? I know how it makes me feel. Shocked. Utterly shocked. Something that I had taken as gospel, something I accepted as fact because the authorities said so, was nothing of the kind. It was completely made up.

The real truth is that actual studies found that men drinking between 21 and 30 units of alcohol a week had the lowest mortality out of anyone in Britain.

A World Health Organisation study in 2000 found that men who drank less that 35 units of alcohol a week were at low risk of harm.

The French government has set the safe drinking limit at 40 drinks a week. How can it be that the French guidelines could be double the English (and Australian for that matter)?

Clearly we are being had. The only thing I can say is that you need to question everything. How many other gems are there out there like this? Utter bullshit dressed up as fact by the powers that be?


Image Source:  Tiia Monto – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


About The Author


A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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