Dry January drink campaign could do more harm than good, claims expert


Urging people to take part in Dry January risks sending an “all or nothing” message and could do more harm than good, an expert has argued.

Urging people to take part in Dry January risks sending an “all or nothing” message and could do more harm than good, an expert has argued.

The Dry January campaign is run by Alcohol Concern and figures suggest that last year more than two million people cut down their drinking for the month.

The campaign says there are “significant health benefits” from taking part, from “weight loss and better sleep … to more money in your pocket”.

But Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences at York University, said that just because Dry January is popular, it “does not mean it is effective”.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), he said: “Alcohol Concern’s ambition is to alter people’s relationship with alcohol by encouraging us to reduce the amount we drink, not just for a month but for life.


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