WHY DO DRY JANUARY?
There are loads of reasons for taking part in Dry January, Here are just a few:
• Reset your relationship with alcohol – realise you don’t need it
• New year, new you – do Dry January and feel healthier and happier as:
• you sleep better
• your skin improves
• you lose weight
• More money in your pocket (the average person spends £50,000 on booze in their lifetime)
• Get healthier – through giving up alcohol for a month you do your insides a lot of good.
• Amazing sense of achievement!
If we could come up with a new health supplement or discovered a superfood that had all those benefits, we’d be millionaires. But instead we aim to offer the help, advice and encouragement to let you get these benefits yourself, all for free.
WHERE DID DRY JANUARY COME FROM?
“Study … found that Dry January leads to healthier drinking habits,” the Mail Online reports. Dry January involves giving up alcohol for the month. There is limited evidence about whether taking part in the challenge could lead to long-term changes in patterns of drinking.
A recent study looked at 857 UK adults taking part in the challenge. Around two-thirds of the sample successfully gave up drinking for one month.
Compared with those who failed to abstain, those who were successful were, unsurprisingly, more likely to drink less, have lower dependence scores, and be more able to refuse alcohol to start with.
Both successful abstainers and those who did not succeed in the challenge also had increased powers of abstinence and reduced consumption patterns up to six months later, albeit to a slightly lesser extent in those who did not succeed. So, in this sample at least, it seems taking part in the challenge brought benefits.
The important limitation of the long-term sample data was that it represented only about a quarter of those taking part in Dry January originally signed up by the researchers.
The rest didn’t provide complete data for assessment. People without complete assessments had higher alcohol consumption patterns to start with, so the results could be representative of those with better chances of success.
Whether you’re taking part in Dry January or not, keeping your alcohol consumption within recommended limits is wise all year round.
Regularly drinking more than 14 units a week risks damaging your health.
Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
New evidence around the health harms from regular drinking have emerged in recent years.
There is now a better understanding of the link between drinking and some illnesses, including a range of cancers.
The previously held position that some level of alcohol was good for the heart has been revised.
It is now thought that the evidence on a protective effect from moderate drinking is less strong than previously thought.
To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks:
• men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
• spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week
• if you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week