Chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, reported a 40% rise in liver disease during the past decade when she presented her annual report in March. Professor Davies claimed that a “huge increase” was yet to be recorded as the disease typically takes decades to appear and because people in the UK drink approximately twice as much as their counterparts did 50 years ago.
Sickness absence management for alcohol problems
Commenting on these findings, Richard Holmes, Head of Employee Wellbeing Services for medical risk management specialist, Medigold Health, said: “In part, this could be attributed to increased consumption and in part due to the fact that we drink stronger drinks these days.
“Alcohol units were designed in the 1970s and are based on the drinks we drank then; typically 9% wines and 3.4% beers and lagers. Today we commonly drink 5% beers and lagers and 12-14% wine.
“You may think a glass of wine is one unit and you’re OK with that, but a unit is one small (125ml) glass of 9% wine. If your one glass of wine is a medium (175ml) glass of 13% wine, that’s 2.3 units. If it’s a large (250ml) glass, it’s 3.3 units. You could be drinking two or three times more alcohol than you think!”
Want to know more about sickness absence management?
Alcohol consumption is a key concern when it comes to sickness absence management, with many employers suffering employee absence as a result of overindulgence. Medigold Health provides a range of services including drug and alcohol screening, health surveillance and medical risk management to keep staff in the workplace and protect them from serious disease, and to reduce the cost of sickness absence management for employers.
Medigold Health has put together a detailed factsheet for employees to explain the unit values of popular drinks so that people are more aware of their intake and recommended consumption levels. To receive this free factsheet, email firstname.lastname@example.org.