Today’s TV news carried a leading story that units of alcohol will be appearing on all bottles, cans cartons etc of alcoholic drinks. People were asked in the street what they thought of this move. Several people asked, what’s a unit?
A good question I think!
Ok it’s 10 ml of alcohol and at least its based on metric. But why invent something such that nobody will know what is stands for?
It would be far simpler if the advice given is that men should drink no more than 30 – 40 ml per day and women 20 – 30 ml. Alcoholic drinks already have percentages ABV on them and given that people generally understand percentages (or if preferred think of it as so many ml for every 100 ml), they would know how to work it out, particularly if the quantities of drink were rational metric sizes. For example a 500 ml can of beer with 4% alcohol (4 ml per 100 ml) is 20 ml alcohol. Easy!
A good case for improving metric awareness and getting rid of awkward quantities such as 440 ml, 568 ml etc
See also earlier article Units of alcohol – 18 January