A campaign encouraging women to ‘Drop a Glass Size’ in 2013 has been launched today by Health Secretary Alex Neil.
As part of the campaign, which also includes a national roadshow, a new ‘drinking mirror’ smart phone app has been developed to show people the shocking affects of regularly drinking too much. The app is free until the end of March and will show users that cutting down a glass size can have a significant affect on the ageing process.
Latest figures show that around 38 per cent of women regularly exceed daily or weekly sensible drinking guidelines, by drinking more than 2 to 3 units a day / 14 units a week. .
The number of alcohol-related deaths among women aged 30-44 has doubled in the last 20 years, and the chronic liver disease and cirrhosis death rate among 30-44 year old women in Scotland has trebled since the mid to late 1980s.
The campaign encourages women to think about the health effects of regularly drinking above the recommended alcohol guidelines. Making small changes, such as alternating alcohol with soft drinks or water and having two alcohol-free days a week, can lead to big health improvements.
Mr Neil said:
“Evidence shows us that most people who drink alcohol, particularly at home, have no idea of how much they are actually consuming. This campaign will show people how small changes to their drinking habits can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.
“Scotland has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and much has been done in the last five years to address this. Our alcohol framework outlined a package of over 40 measures to reduce alcohol related harm. We have made considerable progress including banning quantity discounts, restricting promotions on off-sales and working to introduce a Minimum Pricing Bill.
“I have always been clear that there is more that can, and must, be done. Alongside educational efforts such as this campaign, we will work to ensure that people drink less and that we become a healthier Scotland.”
Dr Samantha Robson, GP, comments: “Alcohol undoubtedly has an effect on our appearance in the short and long-term. As well as causing bloating and dark circles under your eyes, alcohol dries out skin and can lead to wrinkles and premature aging. Many people forget that alcohol also affects their sleep, which doesn’t do skin any favours. But drinking more than you should over time can have other, more permanent, detrimental effects on your skin and more importantly your overall health.
“Many women don’t think about the longer term effects of drinking or that on average it takes them longer than a man to recover from the damage caused by a big night. But cutting down a glass size, or having a break some nights, the result could make a huge difference to how they look and feel.”
The campaign, which also includes a national roadshow, will feature three different sized wine glasses to emphasise the central theme of the initiative. The three different sized wine glasses highlight that by making a simple, small change such as dropping a glass size, women can see and feel a big difference in their health and well-being now and in the long term.
For more information about sensible drinking and the ‘Drinking Mirror’ smart phone app go to the Drink Smarter website.