Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is calling on women in Irvine to kickstart 2013 with a healthy resolution to “drop a glass size” and cut back on their alcohol intake, following a new initiative launched by the Scottish Government.
The Drink Smarter campaign is encouraging women to commit to reducing their alcohol intake, which will provide many health benefits and help women to kickstart their healthy New Year.
The alcohol awareness drive aims primarily to challenge people to think about how much they drink and how it will impact on their physical and mental well-being.
Figures show 38 per cent of women across Scotland regularly exceed daily or weekly sensible drinking guidelines, by consuming more than two to three units a day, or 14 units a week.
The number of alcohol-related deaths among those aged 30 to 44 has doubled in the past 20 years – from 43 in 1992 to 77 in 2012 – and the chronic liver disease and cirrhosis death rate among 30 to 44-year-old women has trebled since the mid-to late-1980s.
To help raise awareness, a national roadshow will tour the country making people aware of the worrying issue, and a free ‘drinking mirror’ smartphone app has also been developed to show people the shocking effects of regularly drinking too much.
The campaign seeks to encourage women to make small changes, such as alternating alcohol with soft drinks or water and having two alcohol-free days a week, which the government claims can lead to big health improvements.
App designer Auriole Price said: “The aim of the app is to shock women into drinking a little bit less.
“We are appealing to people’s vanity as the effects of alcohol can include bloodshot eyes, a bloated face and deeper wrinkles.”
Nicola, a former Greenwood Academy pupil, said: “Everyone by now is aware that bold action is needed to tackle Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
“The impact of our consumption is estimated to cost Scots £3.56bn each year. That’s £900 for every adult.”
She went on: “With Scots drinking more than any other part of the UK, this campaign aims to encourage adults in Scotland, particularly women, to recognise how much they are actually drinking and to help them make small changes to the way they drink which can improve their health and well-being.”
People can find out more information on their alcohol intake through a government-funded web site (www.drinksmarter.org) which provides facts on how alcohol impairs health, appearance and general well-being, as well as busting a number of interesting myths surrounding alcohol that many people hold to be true.
Said Ms Sturgeon: “I certainly encourage women in Irvine to have a look at the website and see how it can benefit them as we head into the New Year.
“The site is an incredibly valuable reasource as it offers so much information and helpful advice.”