Study Finds That Young People ‘Underestimate’ The Amount of Alcohol They Drink

Many young people underestimate how much alcohol they drink, according to a University of Sussex-led study.

Researchers said even those with some knowledge of the government’s guidelines could not accurately estimate the unit content of drinks.

A sample of 125 18 to 25-year-olds were asked to pour their usual measure of wine, beer or vodka and say how many units they believed it to be.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed underestimated their unit content.

‘Not enough knowledge’

Research leader Dr Richard de Visser, a senior lecturer in psychology, said: “Our results indicate that young people tend not to possess the knowledge or skills required to drink alcohol in accordance with Government guidelines.

“Using drink-pouring tasks as part of this education could promote better understanding of alcohol units and more accurate reporting of alcohol consumption.”

Fewer than half of the participants in the study gave the correct answer to five out of seven questions testing knowledge of the government’s alcohol consumption guidelines.

But most knew the government’s daily unit guidelines were up to two to three units for a woman and up to three to four units for a man.

A pint of lager or cider with a 5% alcohol content or two small (125ml) glasses of wine with a 12% alcohol content contains three units.

The study was published in Drug and Alcohol Review.

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