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Boozing Britain - Does Dry January Really Exist?

An overindulgent festive season often sees us vowing to hit the gym and eat more healthily come January, but how long do these good intentions usually last? 

Amongst the leftover Christmas chocolates and party snacks, booze is often the next thing to be given the heave ho; but in fact this so called 'dry January' actually only lasts a mere 14 days, according to figures released by Shopitize who collate data about what shoppers are putting into their baskets.

The latest trends show that 'dry' January only actually lasts for around two weeks, before the beer and wine find their way back into our trollys and our New Year's resolutions are completely forgotten about.

Irina Pafomova, Shopitize's co-managing director, says the service gives a good illustration of our buying behaviours. "The thousands of shoppers who use the app have shown us that alcohol really only stays out of the shopping basket for around two weeks in January and then life gets back to normal."

Willpower for a good cause

But not everyone's willpower fails after a fortnight; Cancer Research UK launched its first Dryathalon this January, in which over 35,000 people - or Dryathletes - gave up alcohol for 31 days to raise money for the charity. A staggering £3m was raised, proving that the nation is actually quite capable of laying off the drink.

Stacey Wilsoncroft, 27, a reservations consultant, took part in the event last month and managed to raise £110 for the charity. "I heard the advert on the radio and decided to take part as it was for a good cause, but would also help me with my health." 

"I didn't find it difficult despite having alcohol in the fridge leftover from Christmas. It made me realise how much you actually don't need to turn to drink if you feel stressed or upset. I found other ways to relax instead."

Safe drinking?

With all the Christmas parties and family get togethers over the festive season, it's easy to lose count of your alcohol consumption when you're out and about. And according to figures released by South Yorkshire Police, drink drivers were involved in one in ten road collision across the county over the Christmas period. 

Of nearly 3000 drivers breathalysed in December, 9.5 percent were recorded as being over the limit, reminding us that alcohol is not just detrimental to our health, but to the safety of ourselves and other road users as well.

The government recommends that men should not regularly exceed more than 3-4 units per day (that's about a pint and a half of lager), and women shouldn't exceed 2-3 units (a 175ml glass of white wine is about 2.2 units).


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