Public Health England (PHE) is endorsing Dry January, a campaign promoting no alcohol for the month of January. Polls have revealed that going without alcohol for a month has a long-term impact on drinking levels, while other studies show remarkable health benefits.
A survey of 1,500 people who took part in Dry January last year was carried out by PHE. The poll found that six months after the alcohol-free month, 67% reported that they now drink less alcohol in general. An incredible 70% said they lost weight and a further 63% said their sleeping had improved.
Dr Yvonne Doyle (from PHE) said that people tend to drink more than usual over the festive period and after many nights of excess alcohol, often want to stay away from it.
“It’s not surprising that many of us feel ready to take a break from alcohol. A period of abstinence could help encourage less harmful, better drinking habits in the long term – even six months later, evidence from Dry January shows that more than two-thirds of participants are still drinking less.”
A study carried out by the University College London found that just one month without drinking slashes the risk of developing life threatening illnesses and disease. Benefits were seen to blood pressure, liver function and cholesterol levels. Participants were also at lower risk of developing liver disease and type 2 diabetes. They reported improvements in concentration and lost as much as 6lbs.
PHE polls also revealed that over half of people say they drink during the festive period even when they don’t want to. Jackie Ballard, chief executive of Alcohol Concern said the following:
“In the run-up to Christmas many people start drinking more than usual as they celebrate the festive season with parties and get-togethers.
“Dry January is an incredible opportunity to give the body a break and gain some great health benefits such as; lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, losing weight and feeling more energised.”