'The idea of an older woman with a glass of sherry is way out of date. It is more likely to be a bottle of wine a day.’
This from Andrew Langford of the British Liver Trust is a classic of the public health genre. Old ladies may not be drinking a little glass of sherry but, let's be clear, most of them - nearly all of them in truth - are not drinking a bottle of wine a day. They are more like to be drinking no alcohol.
According to the ONS (this is for 2009) just 4% of women aged over 65 had drunk more that six units on any occasion in the week prior to survey. And 74% of such women had consumed less that 3 units. Indeed 57% of women over 65 had not touched a drop.
And just for completeness, the average weekly consumption for women aged 65 or over is just 4.6 units.
There may be a few elderly women with a drink problem but it is not a hidden' public health scandal. Not even a little one.