Our lifestyles can be unhealthier than we think and East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Public Health team is offering advice on how people can benefit by drinking less alcohol.
Many people may think they don’t drink much, but a drink or two most evenings can do harm to your body.
From weight gain to an increased risk of getting serious health conditions, alcohol can have serious effects on the body and the more alcohol you consume – and the more often – the greater the risk to your health.
As part of the One You campaign, Public Health England has made an app available for people to check their alcohol consumption. Residents can downloads the One You Drinks Tracker app to keep an eye on how much they are drinking and keep control with free tips.
The app can help residents to compare their drinking levels with the alcohol unit guidelines; access simple tips and advice to help them cut down if needed; and see how much money can be saved by drinking less.
Councillor Jonathan Owen, chair of East Riding Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“It’s important that people know how much they are drinking and that there are easy ways they can cut back, without cutting alcohol out completely.
“Simple swaps could be made when you’re out, such as having a soft drink in between alcoholic drinks, and having at least a couple of booze-free nights each week.”
There are many benefits to cutting back on alcohol, most importantly to reduce the risk to your health, but there are others as well such as feeling better in the mornings, having more energy and feeling less tired during the day.
Your skin may also start to look better and if you cut down, your body will be able to stand a better chance of fighting off bugs and illnesses, which can contribute to better general health.
As well as health benefits, there are also mental health benefits to reducing the intake of alcohol. As time goes on, you may find you’re in a better mood more often. Heavy drinking can be linked to depression and sometimes a hangover can leave people feeling low. This can be a problem if that person is also already feeling anxious or sad when they’re sober.
It’s important for everyone to try to stick within the government’s low risk alcohol unit guidelines of no more than 14 units per week for both men and women, but if you are prescribed medication always consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding alcohol consumption.
Taking more than one medication at a time can increase side effects and adding alcohol to one or more medications can also increase the risk of having a fall or accident so following professional advice makes sense.
Tony Margetts, substance misuse manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:
“There are benefits to everyone drinking less alcohol, especially older residents who may already be at risk of falling.
“Having too much to drink can increase your chance of tripping and can alter your state of mind.
“As well as that, some medication shouldn’t be taken with alcohol and this is an important factor to consider before drinking.”