The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has called on the government to launch a new consultation into recommended alcohol intake. This comes following research that found half the public disagree with official health guidelines on consumption.
The latest guidelines, released in January, saw recommended maximum weekly intake fall from 21 units for men and 14 units for women, to just 14 units for both genders.
According to new research carried out by YouGov, out of 2,040 people surveyed, 61% agreed that moderate alcohol consumption could be part of a healthy lifestyle.
51% disagreed with the chief medical officers' decision that alcohol guidelines should be the same for men and women.
CAMRA says it is now calling for the Department of Health to launch a new public consultation into whether alcohol guidelines are fit for purpose and evidence based.
CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said: 'The figures we're releasing today, at the start of the Great British Beer Festival, show that government advice on drinking is at odds with common sense.'
He continued: 'If the government wants people to take the guidance seriously then it needs to present people with realistic and believable advice, which they can use to judge their own risk when it comes to responsible drinking. If the public feels, as our figures suggest, that the guidelines are not credible and lack evidence, the danger is they will increasingly just ignore them.'
Valentine concluded: 'There are decades of international scientific evidence showing that moderate drinking can play an important part in a healthy and happy lifestyle. We'd like to see that research reflected in a more grown-up approach to help adults understand the risks and benefits associated with drinking.'
CAMRA says that numerous scientific studies have shown that moderate drinking can have a protective effect against various health problems including cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and certain forms of cancer – ignored in the new alcohol guidelines.