Dry January® with Alcohol Change UK
Alcohol Change UK are once again running their annual Dry January campaign to encourage people to take a 31-day break from alcohol.
New research from Alcohol Change UK (ACUK) shows that one-in-five UK adults (21%) regularly drink more than the recommended maximum of 14 units a week, but that 30% of men who drink and 26% of women who drink would like to reduce their alcohol intake in 2024. Results showed that one-in-six people plan to take a break from alcohol this January.
People who sign up to take part in Dry January can access a range of free tools and resources, including the TryDry app and daily coaching emails to keep you motivated, inspired and on track through January and beyond. According to ACUK research, those who sign up to Dry January double their chances of completing a month without alcohol, compared with those who don’t.
Some of the benefits of taking part in Dry January include better sleep better and more energy, improvements to mental health and concentration, brighter skin, financial gains and a sense of achievement – often lasting long after 1 February. Dry January is carefully designed by experts in behaviour change, and research shows that 70% of people who take part in Dry January have significantly improved wellbeing and lower alcohol health risks 6 months later.
Scottish first minister commits to reduce children’s exposure to alcohol marketing
Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf has pledged support to reduce children and young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing, as part of a joint campaign from Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS), Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems and BMA Scotland.
International evidence shows that alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that children and young people will start to drink alcohol or, if they already drink alcohol, drink more and at problematic levels. A survey carried out by AFS found 10- and 11-year-olds in Scotland were more familiar with certain beer brands than leading brands of biscuits, crisps and ice cream.
In a new video, Mr Yousaf explains that children should grow up free from the negative impacts of alcohol. He acknowledges that children and young people in Scotland have a high level of awareness of alcohol brands, and that by tackling this it will help to provide the best chance for children and young people to have a healthy start in life.
Mr Yousaf signed up to support the campaign following the Scottish government’s analysis of the consultation on alcohol advertising and promotion. The Scottish government have committed to further stakeholder engagement in early 2024 and further public consultation on specific proposals.
The campaign is supported by more than 40 organisations and 59 MSPs.
As January marks a time of reflection and resolutions, reducing alcohol consumption has been at the top of the list for many in the North-East.
A new survey of 701 people in the North-East who drink alcohol found 41 per cent had thought about reducing how much they drink in the previous 12 months. Cutting the risk cancer, losing weight, having more energy and developing a healthier relationship with alcohol, were among the main reasons people are considering the change.
The research coincides with Balance’s re-launch of its powerful Alcohol is Toxic campaign. The campaign aims to spread awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer, and remind people that just one or two drinks a day can increase the risk of cancer including bowel, breast, mouth and throat cancer.
Visit the ReduceMyRisk.tv website to find free advice and tools to cut down and links to local alcohol support services.
In December the Department for Business and Trade announced plans to introduce a new ‘pint size’ measure of wine, coming into effect in 2024.
The new legislation will introduce the 568ml size to sit alongside the 200ml and 500ml measures already available in supermarket shelves, pubs, clubs and restaurants – a move made possible by Brexit it said.
The Department said that they believe that it will offer more flexibility and choice for customers, while benefiting British vineyards.
January is Love Your Liver Awareness Month, a campaign run by the British Liver Trust (BLT) that encourages people to take steps to improve liver health.
In the UK, liver disease is on the rise. The three major preventable causes are drinking alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis. That’s why BLT are raising awareness of how to look after your liver and prevent possible liver damage caused by lifestyle factors. This includes pledging to cut down sugar, ditch takeaways and fast food, complete a fitness challenge and give up alcohol for a month.