It’s that one month of the year where millions off us swear off booze but Dry January may not be as effective a concept as first assumed.
A thoroughly modern creation, the first ever Dry January campaign was created by Alcohol Concern back in 2013 in an attempt to curb excessive drinking habits and help combat any overindulgence over the Christmas period.
However, one expert reckons that the benefits of going sober over the first month of the year may be vastly overrated.
Ian Hamilton is an academic and lecturer in mental wellbeing in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York and expressed some concern over Dry January during an interview with the Daily Star.
In fact, he went as far as to say that moderate, regular drinking may be just as beneficial as enjoying a month off the sauce before returning to those previous binge drinking ways.
“People think having done Dry January, that’s it, job done and now for the rest of the year I can just return to my normal habits,” he said.
“I think what would be more beneficial to the vast majority of people is to try and go for two or three sober days a week throughout the year where they abstain from alcohol, rather than trying to fit it all in to one month.”
It’s estimated that in excess of three million people participate in Dry January every year, with the charity highlighting statistics that show 79% of participants saved money, while 62% slept better and 49% lost weight.
Furthermore, an experiment by the New Scientist concluded that Dry January had a beneficially effect on cholesterol levels, weight loss and liver flat.
A 2014 survey from the University of Sussex also found that, six months on from Dry January, 72 per cent out of a survey of 900 people had “kept harmful drinking episodes down” while 4 per cent had stopped drinking altogether.
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