Christmas revellers urged to give up booze for Dry January

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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Last Friday (15Dec17) marked the height of the office Christmas party season, and with millions of us set to enjoy drinks with family and friends over the holidays and on New Year's Eve, for many, 2018 will start with an almighty hangover.

With over 2.5 million Brits exceeding the Chief Medical Officer's recommended weekly limit of 14 units of alcohol per week on just one heavy drinking day, health professionals are urging people to sign up for Dry January and cut out the booze next month, to help reset drinking patterns.

Judi Rhys, the chief executive of the British Liver Trust, is encouraging Brits to sign up for the challenge as it could help those drinking to excess turn their lives around.

"Dry January is a great way to begin to love your liver," Rhys explained. "However, stopping for a month and then bingeing on alcohol is not the answer; Dry January should be seen as the impetus to change your relationship with alcohol forever. The British Liver Trust recommends that you have two to three consecutive alcohol-free days every week."

According to a new study published in the Lancet Medical Journal, alcohol-related liver disease is set to overtake heart disease as the U.K.'s biggest cause of premature death by 2020.

It's not just problem drinkers who could benefit from laying off the booze though, as another backer of the campaign, Alcohol Concern/Alcohol Research U.K., chief Richard Piper shared, "The benefits are astounding: 49 per cent of people lose weight, while 62 per cent sleep better and a whopping 79 per cent save money."

Stressing the importance of responsible drinking, he added, "Alcohol is the biggest cause of death, ill-health, and disability for people aged 15-49 in the U.K. - but these tragedies are all totally avoidable. Dry January is growing year-on-year as more people across the country decide to take control of their drinking and reap the benefits, both in how they feel now and for their future health."

Founded in 2012, the Dry January campaign has gone from strength to strength, with an estimated five million Britons attempting to go dry earlier this year (17), according to a survey conducted by YouGov researchers.

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