No, it’s not a comment on the weather but Cornwall Council is taking a realistic approach to cutting drinking by suggesting that instead of doing ‘Dry January’, people try ‘Damp January’ instead.
While it’s a good idea to cut your alcohol intake, cutting out alcohol completely is often an unrealistic long-term plan, so Damp January, as you might guess, is about reducing your alcohol intake for a short time instead of cutting it out completely
To support people to do this, Cornwall Council’s Public Health team are suggesting that people download the ‘Drink’s Meter’ smartphone app which can help them keep an eye on how much they’re drinking.
As many as 1 in 3 people in the South West don’t realise that they drink too much. The app allows people to track what they have drunk throughout the week, and can then calculate how many calories you have drunk and how that equates with the food you could have eaten. You can also track how much money you’ve spent on alcohol.
The app will advise you on how you can improve by having more days across the week where you don’t have a drink.
To stay within sensible drinking levels people should aim for 14 units or less per week. That’s the equivalent of 6 medium-strength pints of beer or cider, or five medium glasses of wine. And these should be spread out over the week with two days drink free between sessions.
Deputy Director of Cornwall Council public health, Steve Brown said: “We often hear about people doing ’Dry January’ and while it’s a good sentiment to think about being healthier we also often hear about how people then binge drink when the month is over, easily slipping back into bad habits again. We’d encourage people to think about having a few more days a week where they don’t have a drink which is much more achievable as a long-term goal and supports healthy lifestyle changes.”
Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health Cllr Sally Hawken said: “Our overall aim is to help residents live healthier lives. Some people simply don’t realise that one drink a night can have serious long-term effect on their health. Often “just the one” turns in to two or three and it’s really easy for this to become a regular habit, and then the risks get even higher.”
The Drinksmeter app can be downloaded on the Google Play store or Apple App store.
If anyone is concerned about how much they are drinking or concerned about someone else’s drinking they can call Healthy Cornwall on 01209 615600 or visit the Healthy Cornwall website