BBC Drinking Survey Proves We Are Cunning Liars, Excellent Drunks


You know how your doctor’s always asking you how much alcohol you drink per night, and you’re always downgrading it to seem moderately socially acceptable? We assumed we all operated under that principle (as in, the principle of outright lying to your doctor to maintain his/her health and sanity, because we’re good people like that). Thus, we were keenly interested when BBC News recently asked some readers to keep a boozy diary of their imbibing exploits. Certainly, everyone already knows how much they actually drink — they’re just keeping it from the authorities and loved ones, right?

Well, actually, of the 85 people surveyed, 57 underestimated, 23 overestimated, and five people accurately predicted how much they would drink. Men underestimated more than women, and people under 40 underestimated more than their elders. And the underestimaters were mostly all quite surprised … or so they said.

As one reported,

“I had a couple of pints, then a restaurant where I had three or four glasses of wine, then back to the pub for a couple, then home where I had a tin or two of beer. So what some people would think a normal celebration night was nearly as much as the rest of the week. I knew I drank a little too much but I didn’t realise how much. It doesn’t help that I like strong ales.”

And here’s a fun chart that will assure you that just about everybody drinks more than they say they’re going to, except for some truly boring sots.

Whether our boozers are or are not legitimately surprised (even on our darkest night, we find we can count to nine), the lesson is clear: Never agree to be surveyed about your drinking habits by the BBC.

Chin chin!