Which is it?

Published: Jan 13 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

Everybody should be advised to take at least two drink-free days a week, say MPs, who urge in a report that safe drinking guidelines should be revised because they are confusing. Even more confusing after a couple of beers!

The House of Commons science and technology committee says awareness of the existence of the guidelines is high, but public understanding of what they mean is poor. More help is needed so that drinkers understand what a unit of alcohol actually looks like, so they can have an idea of how many units they are drinking in a pint of beer, glass of wine or shot of vodka.

In 1987, when alcohol guidance was published, it was set out as a maximum advised number of units per week, which was 21 for men and 14 for women.

However, studies published in the early 1990s suggested some alcohol might be good for the heart. This, says the committee, led to a reframing of the guidance as a daily intake: no more than three to four units a day for men and two to three for women. Those who drink the maximum every day are therefore well above the earlier limits.

Well which is it? Who knows? To an extent it depends on who you ask and where in the world you happen to be. (Interestingly the recommended allowances differ in different countries. I am thinking of moving to Australia, I will be a moderate drinking health nut there).

The problem with being vague is that it allows us to pick out the bits that work best for us, and at worst the information or proposals are completely ignored.

When negotiators make a proposal the best advice we can give is to be very clear and specific about what your proposal is. Getting the structure of your proposals right is one of the most effective lessons you can learn, and gives the proposer both power and control.

Getting what you want takes preparation and thought. Decide exactly what you want before you go about finding the means of getting it.

Alan Smith

 


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Alan Smith

About the author:

Alan Smith
My background is marketing and advertising. After graduating in Economics I entered the agency world to become, at 28, MD of London's largest independent below-the-line marketing provider.

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“When it comes to the qualifications we demand of our president, to start with, we need someone who will take the job seriously.” Michelle Obama. Don’t stop reading - this blog is not about Donald Trump. In the run up to the election of a new Labour Party Leader 4 years ago, the four candidates were invited by LBC radio to quiz each other. You can see the questions to Jeremy Corbyn here. There are two points of note. Firstly, when asked if he wants to be Prime Minister he ducks the question several times, instead referring to the ideological changes he wants to make within the Labour Party. Secondly when asked about his qualifications and experience to be leader of a major political party his answer is objectively underwhelming – before being an MP, he says, he had been a local councillor for 10 years. I don’t think it is difficult to relate those answers in 2015 to the current divided state of the Labour Party.

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