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  1. ITV Report

Drinking glass of wine 'same as consuming three shots of vodka'

Public Health England say Brits 'have no idea' they were drinking when pouring a large glass of wine. Photo: PA

Drinking a large glass of wine is the equivalent to downing three shots of vodka, the head of Public Health England has warned.

Duncan Selbie said alcohol was fast becoming the "silent killer" of working age adults in Britain because many people "pour a glass and have no idea how much they are drinking".

A 250ml glass of wine with an alcohol volume of 12.5% contains three units, according to the NHS, while one small single shot of vodka with an volume of 40% is the equivalent of one unit.

Selbie said that deaths in working age people from liver disease have increased by 500% since the 1970s as a result, making it the third biggest killer of people in this group.

He said 75% of people with cirrhosis are only diagnosed once they are admitted to hospital.

Selbie said the illness was "largely preventable" but alcohol, one of three risk factors along with obesity and viral hepatitis, was difficult to control.

"For example, a large glass of wine is like three shots of vodka, so it is very easy for people to pour a glass and have no idea how much they are drinking," he wrote in a weekly briefing to staff.

Mr Selbie's comments were based on research by Professor Julia Verne, who is clinical head for liver disease for PHE.

MPs have said that people should be encouraged to enjoy a drink in their local pub instead of buying wine at "rock bottom prices" in supermarkets living room as it is easier to keep track of their drinking.

Conservative MP Tracy Crouch, the former chair of the alcohol misuse group, told The Telegraph that people needed to become more aware of the dangers of their drinking habits.

The middle class professional is coming home of an evening and pouring themselves a glass of wine with dinner and then possibly another after that without realising that over the course of a week it can tot what is medically advised.

I'm really pleased that Public Health England has raised this, because raising awareness of this is not about telling people they cannot drink it is about getting people to understand the drinking habits they have, and it does become a habit, it become a habitual part of your evening rather than some sort of special occasion when people enjoy a glass of wine.

People will see it is a very different thing pouring a glass of wine to pouring a three measure vodka but this is why it important to have calorific content on the labels - you wouldn't pour three shots of vodka but you also wouldn't sit down and eat six donuts - but you tend to pour yourself a large measure of wine not a small glass.

– Tracy Crouch MP