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Don't Look Now, But Your British Friends Probably Drink Too Much

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-808246p1.html?cr=00&amp;pl=edit-00">Radiokafka</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&amp;pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

While Hooliganism is a British stereotype about 20 years past its expiration date, nobody'd ever expect to hear anything other than that Brits are frequently on the lash (drinking). And, well, British doctors are fully aware, too, especially now that the United Kingdom has released its new guidelines for acceptable amounts of drinking.

According to the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Alcohol Guidelines Review, it's now advised for healthy adults to drink no more than 14 units per week. As CNN reports, that equates six small glasses of wine or five pints of 5% ABV beer per week -- for both men and women. Of course, no drinking for pregnant women. Furthermore, the guidelines suggest spreading that entire lot of drinking across at least three days, and not all in one sitting. And if you're pregnant, spreading that zero drinks per week across... uh, until you're not pregnant. Zero divided by anything is still zero, according to third-grade math tests.

Additionally, the government update suggests most people reap no benefits from drinking, despite what other studies suggest. According to the UK government, "the only group with potential to have a overall significant reduction in risk of death in the UK is women over the age of 55." Have a drink, mom! But just one. And in the UK.

The new guideline differs from the most recent equivalent guidelines in the US, set by the US Department of Agriculture US Department of Health and Human Services, which suggest one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men as permissible for healthy adults. In contrast, the new British drinking guidelines are blind to sex -- there's definitely a joke in there -- suggesting the same 14-unit limit for both men and women.

So, British drinkers, perhaps it's time to get pissed. Which means one thing to me, and a completely different one to you. Either one works here.


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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. He used to teach British English to children in Spain. He also enjoys drinking. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.