While many of us love a glass of wine at the end of the day, new research from Drinkaware surveying 3,000 UK adults aged 40-64, shows that most mid-life drinkers think that cutting back on their drinks would be a good way to improve their health. Despite this, less than half of these drinkers had actually tried to reduce their alcohol consumption.
When asked what techniques they’d considered using, many had said portion control: 30% would be willing to drink smaller glasses of wine or smaller bottles of beer. A slightly smaller proportion of people (29%) would be willing to drink a lower strength alcoholic drink.
Other moderation techniques people would consider but haven’t tried before, include:
- One in five (19%) say they’d be willing to drink non-alcoholic beer, wine or spirit substitutes
- More than a quarter of people (27%) would be willing to record how much they’re drinking
- One in five people (20%) would be willing to avoid always having alcohol in the house
Addressing the Issue
In response to these findings, Drinkaware has this week launched its ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign, aimed at encouraging mid-life drinkers (who are most at-risk of alcohol-related health conditions) to actively moderate their alcohol consumption by taking at least three drink-free days every week.
Drinkaware Chief Executive, Elaine Hindal, says: “The reality is that the more you drink, the greater the risk for your health. If you drink regularly, one of the most simple and effective ways to improve your health and wellbeing is to have several drink-free days each week.
“My advice to incorporate more drink-free days into your week is to plan ahead. Think about the situations that usually involve alcohol and plan what you will do instead of drinking. There are loads of things you can do to make drink-free days fun, from taking long walks to trying a new dance class.
“Whatever you try, the key is for drink-free days to become part of your routine. Your body will thank you.”
From their research, Drinkaware found that 86% of people are positive to the idea of taking drink-free days.
Help and Support
As part of the campaign, Drinkaware is encouraging people to use its DrinkCompare online tool to help them compare their drinking to the rest of UK and receive tailored information about the benefits of taking drink-free days.
As well as advice and facts, Drinkaware’s website has a hub of ideas and inspiration on activities people can do on drink-free days, including taking up regular exercise, trying a new hobby or even doing something outside of your comfort zone such as outdoor swimming.
Drinkaware advises, when drinking, to keep track and stay within the Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines, which recommend drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, spread over three or more days.
Be sure to check out our Mindful Drinking column each issue! And for more information about this campaign, visit drinkaware.co.uk