Water shortage affects Emmerdale characters

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Guidelines on safe drinking levels may have changed – but soap characters are still downing more booze than any other drink, research has found.

And Yorkshire-set Emmerdale is the worst for not showing water on screen, according to the National Hydration Council.

It commissioned a study looking at hours of TV programmes and found that in soaps, alcoholic drinks accounted for more than a third of screen time where drinks were featured.

That was more six times more often than water, which was only shown for 6 per cent of the time.

Emmerdale was the worst for this with characters consuming water the least, just three per cent of screen time featuring drinks devoted to water and 64 per cent of episodes featuring no water at all.

Dr Emma Derbyshire, nutritionist and adviser to the Natural Hydration Council said: “I didn’t expect this report to show water appearing on our TV screens a lot, but I was shocked to see just how little it appears in comparison to other drinks.

“If our consumption habits are being influenced by what we are seeing our favourite characters on TV drinking, this is incredibly worrying.

“TV programmes should be embracing the opportunity to influence healthy habits, even just swapping one or two drinks for a glass of water would be a great start.”

Media psychologist Emma Kenny, who co-wrote the report, added that programme-makers should now consider how they are portraying drinks in order to encourage viewers to make healthier choices.

Hot drinks were the type most frequently shown.