One in two miss out on crucial moments because of excessive drinking
People drink more in the summertime than they do at any other time of the year, according to new research by alcohol charity Drinkaware*. Encouraged by more opportunities to socialise outdoors and the seasonal increase in festivals and sporting events, one in four UK adults (24%) say they drink more during the summer, with only 10% naming wintertime as the season they consume the largest amount of alcohol.
The results of the survey are released alongside the launch of the Drinkaware summer awareness campaign for adults. ‘Drink Less, Miss Less’ is aimed at encouraging people to think about their summer drinking and the effect it has on their health and wellbeing. A series of ambassadors have signed up to support the campaign, the first being England cricketer Jimmy Anderson, who stars in a light-hearted video, encouraging people to regulate their summer drinking.
The research for the campaign also indicates that nearly one in two adults (49%) have missed key events in their lives after being ‘caught short’ due to drinking and therefore needing to go to the toilet. This is alongside the finding that six out of 10 adults (62%) don’t understand that alcohol is a diuretic and the body produces more urine from drinking alcohol than the same amount of water or soft drinks. The results also reveal that nearly one in five (18%) never keep track of their alcohol consumption.
Chris Sorek, CEO of Drinkaware, says: “The summer is a time to have fun and relax, but it’s really important that we all think about how much we’re drinking and the effect it can have on our health and wellbeing.
“Many people are unaware that alcohol makes you pee more that water or soft drinks, but there are other, more serious health implications of drinking to excess or too often. The Drink Less, Miss Less campaign uses a light-hearted approach to encourage adults to keep track of their drinking and to think about its effects – going to the toilet being only one of them!”
The Drink Less, Miss Less film with Anderson, released today, features him running in to bowl in a crucial match and bowling the batsman out LBW. Unfortunately for Anderson, his big moment is ruined by the umpire, who had been sneaking a drink and is unable to control himself any longer…the full film can be viewed at www.drinkaware.co.uk/missless. The film with Anderson is the first in a series of films featuring a range of celebrities to be released during the coming months.
Although handled in a tongue-in-cheek way, the aim of video is to inform adults that alcohol is a diuretic and drinking results in more fluid being peed out than is taken in. Alcohol affects the body’s production of the antiduretic hormone vasapressin that usually tells the kidneys to reabsorb water that would otherwise end up in the bladder**. Without this hormonal signal, the bladder fills up with all the water from the fluid that is drunk and more trips to the toilet become necessary. The resulting dehydration is also responsible for hangovers and can become a serious risk, particularly during hot weather.
To see the Jimmy Anderson film, viewers can go to http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/missless, where they will also find more details on the campaign and the effect of alcohol on the body, behind-the-scenes exclusives, summer drinking tips and a guide to the Ashes.
For further information, including interviews with spokespeople, please contact:
David Fraser/Laura Bryce at Frank PR – 020 7693 6999/07971840206, email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
Siobhan McCann at Drinkaware – 07905 145471, SMcCann@drinkaware.co.uk
Notes to editors:
The key findings of the research included:
• Summer is the season people drink the most alcohol (24%), with winter accounting for 10%
• 49% of adults have missed a crucial/important moment when they’ve been drinking alcohol because they’ve been in the toilet
• When faced with the statement ‘After drinking alcohol your body produces more urine than if you drink the same amount of water or soft drinks”, 39% thought it wasn’t true and 22% didn’t know
• 18% of people never keep track of their alcohol consumption
• Barbecues are a key place for people to drink in the summer, with 32% saying the drink the highest amounts when they go to one
*ICM interviewed a random sample of 2153 adults aged 18+ in GB from its online panel between 26th-29th June 2009. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk
** Alcohol and its journey through your body, Drinkaware fact sheet, 2009. Approved by Drinkaware Chief Medical Adviser, Paul Wallace
• Drinkaware advises men to stick to the recommended guidelines of 3-4 units of alcohol per day (a pint and a half of lager) and women to stick to 2-3 units per day (a 175ml glass of wine).
• Drinkaware (www.drinkaware.co.uk) provides consumers with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles. Our public education programmes, grants, expert information, and resources help create awareness and effect positive change. An independent charity established in 2007, Drinkaware works with the medical profession, the alcohol industry, government and independent members to achieve its goals.