If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that will make the biggest impact on your health and well-being – try cutting back on alcohol.
A Drinkaware survey has found that 6.7 million people will set a pledge to drink less in the New Year, with over four million adults intending to give up completely during January. So you certainly won’t be alone if you make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink in 2012.
The effects of excessive drinking on the body can be significant:
Short term effects
- Sexual difficulties like impotence (male)
- Slowed breathing and heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
- Impaired judgment leading to accidents
- Poisoning which could be fatal
- Hangover leading to anxiety
Long term effects
- Certain types of cancer
- Liver and heart disease
- Weight gain
- Skin problems
- Damage to unborn child (female)
- Reduced fertility
Where to start
The government’s daily unit guidelines are a good place to begin if you’re looking for a way to measure how much you drink. The guidelines advise that women should not regularly exceed 2-3 units daily (equivalent to a 175ml glass of 13% wine) and that men should not regularly exceed 3-4 units daily (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer).
Give you’re liver a break by also having at least 2 alcohol free days per week.
Visit http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/alcohol/Pages/Alcoholhome.aspx for some useful tools to help you keep track of your drinking.
Concerned about your own or someone else’s alcohol use, visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/alcohol for information about local services.