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‘Alcohol is fuelling obesity in Suffolk’

PUBLISHED: 10:01 19 September 2017

Health campaigners are urging people to download a new drinks app to help them monitor alcohol consumption. 
Photo: PA

Health campaigners are urging people to download a new drinks app to help them monitor alcohol consumption. Photo: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Drinking just one glass of wine or pint of beer is equivalent to eating half a burger when it comes to calories and is helping fuel obesity and health problems across East Anglia, say campaigners.

Workers at OneLife Suffolk, the county’s healthy lifestyle service provider, say they often see the impact drinking can have on the lives of those who join its free 12-week weight management programmes.

With that in mind, they have joined with the charity Turning Point and Public Health England to launch a responsible drinking campaign, aimed at getting people to think about how often they drink alcohol and cut back.

Residents are being encouraged to download Public Health England’s One You “Days Off” free drinks tracker app to help monitor alcohol consumption and take control with daily tips and feedback.

A spokesperson said: “Both men and women are recommended to consume no more than 14 units of alcohol a week - equivalent to a bottle and a half of wine or five pints of 5% lager - and the NHS suggests this should be over several days of the week instead of bingeing on one occasion. However, we know that more than nine million people in England reguarly exceed the guidelines.

“Regular drinking is often discussed as part of our weight management programmes, due to how it can affect a person’s weight. Alcohol contains many ‘empty’ calories, meaning it provides lots of excess energy without any nutritional value. Just one point of beer or a glass of wine, for example, are both over 150 calories, which is the equivalent to half a burger.

“Drinking regularly not only affects a person’s ability to manage a healthy body mass index; it can cause high blood pressure and skin problems as well as having an impact on mental health, triggering low moods and even depression.”

Turning Point Suffolk manager Ruth Croft said: “We are pleased to be working with Public Health England and OneLife Suffolk to help raise awareness of the health issues associated with drinking. Keeping track of the alcohol a person is consuming helps them stay in control and deal with any problems early, before they become problematic. One Life’s app is a brilliant, user-friendly tool to help with this.”

More information and the link to download the app can be found at www.onelifesuffolk.co.uk/responsibledrinking. For more on OneLife Suffolk’s weight management services go to www.onelifesuffolk.co.uk or call 01473 718193. Visit www.wellbeing.turning-point.co.uk/Suffolk to find out more about its drug and alcohol service.

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