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alcohol health alliance uk

Freerunners take to the streets urging shoppers to choose less booze

Choose less booze

Choose less booze

Choose less booze

Choose less booze

Choose less booze

Choose less booze

Choose less booze

Posted 20/02/13

Our teams took to the streets in Newcastle today to encourage people to think about alcohol - led by a team of Freerunners in brightly coloured Morph Suits.

The Freerunners, wearing coloured Lycra suits to resemble the characters in the Government’s Change4Life campaign, will be performing acrobatic flips, press ups, star jumps and fitness routines to highlight the health benefits of drinking less alcohol.

The unusual approach is part of a regional campaign encouraging people to check how much they are drinking and to raise awareness of the potential health harms.

The campaign, part of the Government’s Change4Life programme, encourages people to check their alcohol intake using an online Drinks Checker tool, or by downloading a drinks tracker app, which show how simple changes can benefit your health.

Only one in four people in Newcastle are keeping check on how much alcohol they drink and less than half know what the maximum units are, according to new research from Balance, the North East Alcohol Office.

Research also showed that:
Keeping track is lowest amongst 18-34 year olds.
Fewer than half of people in Newcastle (47%) know what the maximum limits are.

To avoid health issues as a result of alcohol, adult drinkers are advised to stick to the Government’s recommended limits and should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day, or about two small glasses of wine, for a woman and 3-4 units, or about two pints of low strength beer or lager (3.5%), for a man. Regularly means drinking this amount most days or every day.

Members of the Balance team were demonstrating the Change4Life drinks tracker app, which helps users to tot up their units, calorie intake and the financial cost of their drinking, and encouraging people to download the app to their own devices.

Newcastle City Council has backed the campaign and echoes Balance’s encouragement of the people of Newcastle to choose less booze.

Linda Hobson, Newcastle City Council deputy cabinet member for community safety and regulation, said: “It is all too apparent that Newcastle has a problem with alcohol and we need to help people realise they need to drink less.

“High profile events like the one on Northumberland Street on Wednesday are vital if we are to work together to help educate people to the health problems that excessive drinking can cause, whilst promoting a safe and sensible approach to alcohol consumption.”

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, explained: “The on-street event provided a lot of entertainment for city centre shoppers and we hope members of the public in Newcastle enjoyed the spectacle they created. But there is a very serious message behind this activity.

“Alcohol is costing us dearly and is damaging the health, wealth and safety of people and communities in the North East. Too many people are drinking too much but may not even be aware. Our region already has the highest number of alcohol –related hospital admissions in England and this needs to change.

“We know all too well the impact drinking can have on individuals and communities, which is why we’re fully behind the Change4Life campaign. We also know that, while many people in the North East are aware of the horrific health harms associated with alcohol, they are often unaware of the actual amount of units they’re drinking on a weekly basis, which can all too easily add up and take them over guideline limits.

“The drinks tracker app can really help people to monitor their intake and consider the health implications of their drinking, by demonstrating their increased risk of developing conditions such as cancers, liver cirrhosis and high blood pressure. It also provides handy hints and tips to help people reduce their alcohol intake but still enjoy situations where they would usually drink."