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Men push women off #DryJanuary wagon

By Nicholas Robinson+

04-Jan-2017
Last updated on 04-Jan-2017 at 13:45 GMT2017-01-04T13:45:17Z

Off the wagon: men aren't supportive of women's choice to drink less
Off the wagon: men aren't supportive of women's choice to drink less

Men are more likely to push their female partners off the #DryJanuary wagon, goad them into breaking healthy drinking plans and consume more alcohol than the other way round.

Almost a third (29%) of women said they would drink less if their partner wasn’t there, compared with 16% of men who said the same, according to research from Drinkaware.

A third of men were more likely to suggest one more drink, despite their partner wanting to stop, it showed.

The report said: “The current weekly guideline stands at 14 units, but we know that two in five women drink more than this on a regular basis.

“It’s no surprise that 46% of people surveyed are hoping to cut back in the next three months, yet doing so is not as simple as wanting to.”

This month more people than at any other time of the year will look to cut down or call time on their alcohol consumption, said Drinkaware, which launched its #littleless campaign to encourage people to drink less.

Channel 4’s Gogglebox

The campaign is being supported by Rev Kate Bottley and husband Graham from Channel 4’s Gogglebox, who claimed stress played a big part in people’s decisions to drink more.

Kate Bottley said: “It’s quite sad to see that stress can really undo those good intentions, but we are a nation who bottle up our feelings. It would be far healthier to talk through your bad day rather than turn to a glass of wine or beer.”

Drinkaware’s chief executive Elaine Hindal said: “We know that couples who are planning a health regime together fare better when they really support each other.

“It is sometimes difficult to stay on track with healthy plans, but we have developed free tools such as the self-assessment and our Drinkaware app which can really help make a difference, especially if you’re trying to make up for the extra pounds gained over the festive period.”

Alcohol Concern, a charity that promotes responsible drinking and launched the #DryJanuary campaign, claimed last year that women’s drinking was on the rise.

Director of campaigns at the organisation Emily Robinson said drinking at home was increasing because alcohol was so cheap and easily available. As a result, “it’s become an everyday grocery item”, she added.

Alcohol brands for women

There had also been a concerted effort from alcohol brands to market products specifically to women, she claimed.

“We know that from our annual Dry January campaign that people often don’t realise that alcohol has become a bit of a habit rather than a pleasure, with women having wine o’clock most nights of the week,” said Robinson.

The campaigner called for mandatory health warnings on alcohol and a mass media campaign to promote the chief medical officer’s guidelines for the consumption of alcohol.

She added: “Drinking too much, too often, can store up future health problems, both mental and physical, with people not realising just how easy it is to go over recommended limits.”

Yet, pubs and bars are the sorry victims of mass campaigns encouraging people to give up alcohol in January and at other times of the year.

Critics in the sector argue cheap alcohol sold in supermarkets is at the crux of the issue, while drinking in pubs and bars means people’s alcohol consumption can be monitored and would lead to a lower overall intake.

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