The Department of Health has launched a new TV advert as part of its national Change4Life campaign. It warns people that they are at risk of serious illness including heart disease, stroke and cancer if they regularly drink even just a little bit more than the recommended limits.
The advert highlights that regularly drinking around two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day triples the risk of developing mouth cancer and doubles the risk of developing high blood pressure.
A new online calculator is available on the Change4Life website to help people check how much they are drinking and work out whether they need to cut down.
The NHS advises 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).
The campaign comes at a time when latest statistics reveal an increase in the number of deaths linked to alcohol. In 2010, there were 8,790 alcohol-related deaths nationally – an increase of 126 on the previous year’s figures.
Hints and tips on cutting down
- Take a booze break – Most people don’t drink alcohol every day, but if you do, try having a couple of consecutive days in the week when you don’t drink at all. Just make sure you don’t increase the amount you drink on the other days.
- Out of house, out of mind – If it’s in the house, then we’re likely to drink it! Simply stop stocking-up on alcohol when you’re doing the shopping.
Swap your usual for…
- A smaller drink – You can still enjoy a drink, just have less. Try a smaller bottle of beer over a can or a small glass of wine rather than a large one. Wine glasses today are bigger than ever and can easily hold a third of a bottle.
- A lower-strength drink – Instead of a strong beer or wine, go for one with a lower alcohol content (ABV).
- A drink with a mixer – Get more out of your drink by adding a low-calorie mixer to make it last longer.
- A soft drink or a glass of water – Take a break between drinks and have a low-calorie soft drink or glass of water in between, which will also help you stay hydrated.
- A drink with a meal only – Try only drinking at home with your main meal. And not before or after you’ve eaten.
- A cup of tea or coffee – When you get the urge to pour yourself a glass, switch on the kettle and enjoy a cuppa instead. The chances are you won’t feel like an alcoholic drink afterwards.
Concerned about your own or someone else’s alcohol use? Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/alcohol for information about local support services.