Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The [Pounds Sterling]20bn Cost as Stress Drives Britons to Drink

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The [Pounds Sterling]20bn Cost as Stress Drives Britons to Drink

Article excerpt

Byline: VICTORIA FLETCHER

STRESSED Britons are spending more than pound sterling20billion a year on alcohol to help them unwind.

As working hours in the UK top the European league and lunch breaks shrink to less than half an hour, research shows that Britons are using more and more of their hard-earned cash trying to relax.

A survey by analysts Datamonitor found that stress-related purchases have increased by almost three per cent in the last five years across Europe, as almost half of people in the EU admit to being stressed.

Britons are particularly keen on indulging themselves, spending pound sterling120million a year on beauty products including bath salts and facials to help them unwind.

A further pound sterling522million goes on ready meals, while pound sterling473million is spent on hot calming drinks including tea.

Andrew Russell, author of the report, said Britons are dealing with the pressures of daily life by making "little purchases".

He added: "I think this shows they feel it can help them unwind, and are willing to pay for them.

When people are stressed they do not want to have to make decisions, so they do things like buy ready meals or branded products which they already trust."

Datamonitor questioned 500 consumers from seven European countries about what they buy when they were feeling stressed.

Britons spend pound sterling1billion more on little luxuries than those from Germany and France. On average, the survey found that consumers across Europe spend pound sterling291 a year on drinking to forget their woes and and on pampering themselves.

The report says awareness and diagnosis of stress has also increased in recent years. This is due to less job security, higher divorce rates and the need to keep up with new technology, as well as to a better understanding of the syndrome. …

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