Drinkaware release calculator to keep tabs on your drinking this May Bank Holiday Weekend

The calculator has already established staggering drinking levels

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Drinkaware release calculator to keep tabs on your drinking this Bank Holiday Weekend

Drinkaware release calculator to keep tabs on your drinking this Bank Holiday Weekend

As the summer season begins, Drinkaware is calling on people to monitor their alcohol consumption this May Bank Holiday weekend using their online calculator. 

50,000 people have used the Drinkaware Drinks Calculator to track their habits online so far this year, and the figures for March and April alone reveal staggering volumes of alcohol being consumed by Irish people, particularly at home. 

The study of 25,000 people showed that women are far more likely to drink at home than men, with white wine as the most common drink of choice.

58% of women drank at home in March and April as opposed to 42% of men, while the exact opposite was true for pub drinking. 66% of men drank in the pub over those months.

Where white wine is consumed at home, 70% of bottles are consumed by women. Similarly, men (77%) are drinking more cans of lager than women.

In the pub setting, men are more likely to drink pints of lager and stout than any other type of alcohol whereas women appear to consume a wider range of drinks including prosecco and alcopops.

Ahead of the long weekend, Drinkaware have some simple changes to help people to reduce their alcohol consumption. They include:

- Alternate each drink with a glass of water to reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol. Keep a jug of water on the table to make this easier.
- Always use a standard drink measure: never free-pour spirits or wine. Order one for free at drinkaware.ie
- Never top up your wine glass – always finish one glass before refilling.
- Take advantage of the increasingly available lower or no-alcohol beer or wine and swap out your usual drink.
- Stay out of rounds – you may end up drinking far more than you intended.
- If drinking, avoid swimming and be vigilant around open water. Irish Water Safety say that almost 30% of drowned victims will have consumed alcohol.

Speaking ahead of the May Bank Holiday, Drinkaware CEO, Niamh Gallagher said:

“These insights support what we hear anecdotally on the ground at our workshops, events and through our online communities – drinking at home is the new norm. As this is an uncontrolled environment compared to a pub, where drinks are measured, we often hear from people who, a few times in the week, end up drinking a bottle of wine while sitting on the couch without intending to or even realising until it’s too late."

"There are a number of factors at play here – people are comfortable, relaxed - but top of list really is free pouring of spirits and wine," Niamh added.

"We can see a trend from the increasing number of people ordering our free Standard Drink measure cup from our website, www.drinkaware.ie that people are starting to realise that the size of wine glasses or indeed, topping up before the glass is finished, makes it almost impossible to keep track of how much you are drinking," she explained.

"Many people want to reduce their drinking, but simply aren’t sure where to start. Practical tools like the measure cup can help a person make a real change to the way they consume alcohol and in the long-term, reduce risks to their health and wellbeing."

"Bank holiday weekends are a prime time for alcohol misuse and binge drinking, and even more so if the weather is good.  So, this long weekend, we’re calling on people to not waste their weekend and to think about how much alcohol they will consume this bank holiday."

"From January to April 2018, 50,000 people have used the online Drinks Calculator to track their alcohol intake and see its true cost in calories, sugar, standard drinks and amount spent. This indicates an appetite for easy-to-understand information on alcohol and health," Niamh concluded.

Drinkaware’s recent research, conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes, found that:

- 75% of adults have become ‘much more aware’ of the harmful effects of drinking, representing a 6% improvement since January 2017
- More than half of Irish people are taking positive steps to reduce their alcohol consumption
- 70% of people believe drinking to excess is ‘just a part of Irish culture’
- 1 in 8 of people feel public awareness-raising on alcohol and its effects is important.

You can use the Drinkaware drinks calculator to assess your drinking habits by clicking here.