A new health campaign advises middle-aged drinkers to have more alcohol-free days per week to reduce health risks.
The Public Health England and the alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware Trust unveiled on Monday the Drink Free Days campaign, which aims to help people reduce the amount of alcohol they regularly drink.
A YouGov poll showed that one in five adults in the United Kingdom drink above the low risk guidelines. More than two-thirds of these people claim they would find cutting their drinking more difficult compared with having to exercise more or improve their diet.
PHE chief executive Duncan Selbie said that while many people enjoy a drink, it is important for them to monitor their alcohol consumption and strive to have more days in the week that they would avoid alcohol.
The campaign will urge middle-aged drinkers to use the tactic of taking more days off from drinking to avoid the unwanted health consequences of alcohol.
Selbie estimated that there are about 10 million people in the U.K. who drink in a manner that raises their health risks, and many struggle to reduce their alcohol intake.
“Setting yourself a target of having more drink free days every week is an easy way to drink less and reduce the risks to your health,” Selbie said in a statement published by the PHE.
People who drink more alcohol are at higher risk of developing serious and potentially fatal health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. People who drink regularly also increase the amount of calories that they consume, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
The idea behind the Drink Free Days campaign is that simple and easy changes tend to be more doable.
“People have also told us that the idea of a “drink-free” day is much easier to manage than cutting down, say, from one large glass of wine to a small glass of wine,” Julia Verne, of the PHE, told the BBC.
Verne said that alcohol-free days also provide a chance to clean the body’s system and give the liver a rest.
The U.K. government reduced the recommended alcohol limits in 2016. The recommended intake is now no more than 14 units per week, which is equal to about six pints of an average beer, or seven glasses of wine.
Findings of a study published in the journal Lancet on Aug. 23 suggest there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.