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alcohol health alliance uk

Sporting legend asks staff at KP to think about drink

Posted 15/06/10

Local hero Bernie Slaven was at KP Foods in Billingham today (Tuesday, June 15) to encourage staff to think about how much they drink during the World Cup.

The former Middlesbrough FC goal scorer is working with Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, to raise awareness of the damage that can be done by drinking at or above NHS recommended limits on a daily or almost daily basis.

Bernie said: “For many of us, having a drink and watching the World Cup go hand in hand and we’re not saying people shouldn’t enjoy themselves. All we’re asking is that people are aware of the risks of drinking too much and think about how much they are consuming. We would also encourage them take some precautions such as alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, making sure they eat or booking their taxi home before they go out.”

Gary and Lisa from The Real Radio Breakfast Show will be accompanying Bernie. Gary Philipson said: “This is a fantastic campaign which we are delighted to be involved with. Watching the footie has become synonymous with having a pint, but it’s great that we are able to help spread the message of how people can do this sensibly.”

Hundreds of employees got the chance to meet Bernie and pick up information on the health harms associated with alcohol misuse and the impact that it can have on families.

They were also encouraged to complete a World Cup drink diary – setting out how they drank during England’s match with the USA on June 12. The diary gathers information on how much they drank, where they drank, whether they took advantage of any special alcohol deals, if they ate and where their children were while they drank.

Rachel Ovington, HR Cluster Lead North East at KP said: “At KP we endeavour to take a proactive approach to protecting the health of our workforce.

“Ensuring that members of staff have access to good quality information helps them develop an informed opinion, which will support their health and the wellbeing of their families.

“Alcohol misuse can have all sorts of implications for the individual and we want to give everyone the opportunity to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.”

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, added: “During the World Cup we traditionally witness an increase in alcohol consumption and with it a rise in hospital admissions, reports of domestic abuse and assaults. Providing people with information to encourage them to change the way they think and drink is an important part of a range of measures to tackle alcohol misuse, which includes the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol.”

Alcohol misuse, described as drinking at or above the NHS recommended limits of 2-3 units a day for women (about two small glasses of wine) and 3-4 units a day for men (about two pints of 4% strength lager), can have a negative impact on:

Although Balance is not suggesting that people stop drinking completely during the World Cup, the Office is suggesting that people keep an eye on how much they consume, particularly if drinking at home when it’s easy to underestimate how much people are pouring.

Anyone interested in tracking how much they are drinking during the World Cup can fill in a drink diary at www.nhs.uk/units or download a Drinks Tracker at www.nhs.uk/alcohol.

Other tips to help people cut down their consumption include: