An alcohol-free January could not only save you money but also help you sleep better and lose weight, a new study shows.
According to new research from the University of Sussex, taking part in what is referred to as ‘Dry’ January, which involves abstaining from alcohol for a month is good for your health and pocket.
The study reveals that it could see people regain control over their drinking, have more energy, better their skin and lose weight.
More than 800 people, who took part in the dry January in 2018, also reported drinking fewer months later, the study shows.
According to the University of Sussex research, drinking days fell on average from 4.3 to 3.3 per week and units consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1 while frequency of being drunk dropped from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month on average.
University of Sussex’s’ psychologist and lead researcher Dr Richard de Visser said participants were still drinking less in August.
“Interestingly, these changes in alcohol consumption have also been seen in the participants who did not manage to stay alcohol-free for the whole month, although they are a bit smaller. This shows that there are real benefits to just trying to complete dry January,” he said.
The dry January would be useful, especially at a time when alcohol tragedy bedevilling the nation.
At least 2.8 million Kenyans are battling alcohol-related disorders or a prevalence rate of 10.4 percent, double the number affected by tobacco and miraa (khat) at 1.8 million and 800,000 respectively.
An even bigger concern is the high number of people suffering from alcohol disorders in the productive age, mainly university graduates and workers at the peak of their careers in the 25-35 age bracket.
They make up 12. 8 percent of those affected, threatening the nation’s endeavour to realise the Vision 2030 development goals by depriving it of the much-needed workforce.
According to the Interior ministry, the country is losing at least 5,000 people to alcoholism every year.
Coincidentally, Nairobi has the highest cases of alcohol-related disorders at a rate of 18.4 per cent followed by western at 13.1 per cent, while eastern stands at 10.6 per cent.
Nairobi also has the highest rate of alcohol consumption, according to a recent National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) survey.
The Nacada data shows northeastern and Nyanza have the lowest rate of 2.0 and 10.2 percent respectively.
Central is third with a prevalence rate of 10. 6 per cent compared to Nairobi, Eastern, Western and Rift Valley, which have 17.5, 14.3, 13.4 and 13.2 percent respectively.
The reasons behind the increased alcohol abuse in Nairobi include the high population of civil servants, who have a higher disposable income, and the largest population of informal settlements in Kenya, according to the study.