Resolved To Give Up Alcohol for January? It
Could Do You More Harm Than Good
Dr. Christian Jessen
This has long
been the season of detox, dieting and giving up drinking. But this
year avoiding alcohol for the month of January has become something
of a competition.
It seems it
is no longer enough to steer clear of the strong stuff you
have to tell everyone youre doing it, too.
dubbed doing a Dryathlon by one charity and its
Dryathletes are appealing for sponsorship to help them
stay on the straight and narrow.
be an office worker in the country who hasnt had an email
ping into their inbox from people looking for support
from their friends as they take on their biggest challenge
yet staying off the sauce till February 1.
The craze is
backed by two major charities who are avidly targeting Facebook
and Twitter users to reach a whole new class of social drinker.
UK, which is running the Dryathlon campaign, is asking drinkers
to raise money for alcohol-related cancer research by staying off
booze this month.
Alcohol Concern is running a very similar Dry January appeal to
raise money and awareness in a bid to stop todays social drinkers
becoming the dependent drinkers of the future.
not to like about a dry January? Surely a lengthy period of abstinence
after a few weeks of indulgence is good for your health?
afraid its all poppycock. As a doctor, you might expect me
to give the concept my total backing, but Im afraid youd
At the very
least, a dry January is a complete waste of time health-wise. At
worst, its actually bad for you. Why? Because the whole concept
is totally unsound.
being a sign of virtuous behaviour, its more likely to signify
a broader problem.
As I said,
most people are giving up alcohol in January just so they can go
back to boozing with a vengeance in February.
In all likelihood,
theyll end up drinking more, not less despite the months
I worry that
heavy drinkers arent embarking on this period of abstinence
because they want to radically change their habits forever. Far
want to be able to feel they can drink like fishes from February
nature to want a quick fix. Most of us would love to pop a vitamin
pill instead of eating a plate of broccoli.
Having a dry
January has the same appeal.
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