The latest Scottish Health Survey report published October 3 includes statistics on mental health, general health and caring, alcohol consumption, smoking, diet, physical activity, obesity, respiratory conditions, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The survey finds that the proportion of adults drinking over the recommended maximum of 14 units per week fell from 34% in 2003 to 25% in 2013 and has stayed at a similar level since (25% in 2014 and 26% in 2015 and 2016). Men are twice as likely to drink above the limit as women (35% v. 17%).
The percentage of adults reporting that they do not drink alcohol increased significantly from 11% in 2003 to 16% in 2013, and has remained at this level since. The average number of units of alcohol consumed per week by drinkers has decreased since 2003 from 16.1 units to 12.8 units in 2016. The proportion of adults who drank on more than 5 days in the last week has risen after a period of decline (10% in 2014 and 13% in 2016). The average number of units of alcohol consumed by adults on their heaviest drinking day fell from 7.7 units in 2003 to 6.9 units in 2013, and has remained at a broadly similar level since then (7.3 units in 2016).
More adults reported not drinking alcohol in the most deprived areas (26%) than the least deprived areas (11%) and people in the least deprived areas drank on more days (2.9) than those in the most deprived areas (2.3 days). However, Female drinkers in the least deprived areas had higher weekly consumption levels than female drinkers in other areas (9.7 units).