Millions of Britons belonging to middle class are drinking too much at home in the evening or over dinner, putting their health at risk of cancer, liver disease and even mental health problems, reveals a new study.
They are not "binge drinking" or even getting drunk but they are causing huge damage to their bodies and long-term health.
AdvertisementThe study of the nation's drinking habits called 'From One to Many' found that those with the highest household income drink the most and have the highest rate of mild dependence on alcohol.
Those earning more than 1,000 pounds a week drink around 14.8 units a week, equivalent to 14 small glasses of wine or seven and a half pints of beer.
Those earning only up to 200 pounds a week consume only 9.9 units, around 10 small glasses of wine or four and a half pints.
People in managerial and professional jobs drink around 26 per cent more a week than those in routine and manual worker households - 13.5 units a week compared with 10.7 units.
"No one would question the need to tackle the UK's infamous binge drinking culture," the Daily Express quoted Julie Manning, chief executive of 2020health, as saying.
"What's worrying, however, is the way in which we overlook the habits of the silent majority who are slowly drinking themselves to death," she stated.
Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, added: SDLq'Risky drinkers are a real concern for GPs. They may not necessarily get drunk and they may not even realize they are drinking dangerously, but they are slowly paving the way to serious health problems."
The study has been just published by think-tank 2020 health.