United Kingdom

One in four Britons is drinking more alcohol during the coronavirus lockdown

More than a quarter of Britons have turned to drink during the long weeks of lockdown, a survey showed yesterday.

Twenty-seven per cent of adults have been downing more alcohol since March 23 – totalling more than 14million people.

More than 260,000 have fallen into the habit of drinking in the morning.

A new survey has found that 260,000 Britons have fallen into the habit of drinking in the morning during the lockdown

The increase in drinking has appeared alongside more sleep as hangovers have gone uninterrupted by the need to get up and go to work. Four out of ten people say they have been sleeping more since late March – on average by four hours and 22 minutes a week

The survey said the increase in alcohol consumption works out at 12.6 units a week during the daytime for an average person – plus another 14.6 units in the evening.

The extra drink is equivalent to two pints of beer or four small glasses of wine each day. The report also pointed to a country that is becoming fatter under quarantine.

Nearly a third of the population – 31 per cent – is taking in more calories a day now than they did in mid-March.

On average, the extra consumption amounts to 671 calories a day – more than a third of the recommended daily calories for a woman and over a quarter of those for a man.

The survey suggested that 14million are snacking routinely, while 10million have increased the amount of unhealthy food they eat. More than four million are ordering more takeaways while they are shut out of pubs and restaurants.

The increase in drinking has appeared alongside more sleep as hangovers have gone uninterrupted by the need to get up and go to work. Four out of ten people say they have been sleeping more since late March – on average by four hours and 22 minutes a week.

There has also been an increase in Britons intending to leave alcohol alone once lockdown is over. A high proportion promises to cut down on drinking, unhealthy eating and takeaways – and do more exercise.

The survey, for Direct Line Life Insurance, was carried out by Opinium among 2,000 people in late April. Chloe Cooper, of Direct Line, said: ‘Lockdown has been extremely challenging for many people, with most facing radical changes to their work and home life.

‘Although it can be easy to go to the kitchen and grab an unhealthy snack or pour an alcoholic drink, it is important to remember the importance of a balanced lifestyle.

‘In such an uncertain time, where health and wellness is at the front of everyone’s mind, looking after yourself and your family is crucial.’

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