County wants residents to rethink their drinking with new campaign

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Oxford County wants you to rethink your drinking with new campaign.

Rethink Your Drinking is a new public health campaign that’s asking residents to consider the size of their alcoholic beverages.

Public health nurse Jacqueline Deroo said the campaign is online at www.rethinkyourdrinking.ca and is promoting an app called Saying When, developed by Centre for Addiction and Mental Heath, that will let you measure what you drink.

“It’s a campaign to help change the way people think about drinking alcohol,” Deroo said. “Just talking about the size of your drink, time between drinks, how alcohol is linked to chronic disease and how alcohol affects men and women differently and the choice people make when drinking. Just stressing all health aspects of how alcohol can influence your health.”

Knowing how much alcohol is actually being consumed is key to reducing the risk of illness and injury. A ‘standard drink’ contains 13.6 grams of pure alcohol that equals to 12 oz of five per cent beer, five oz of 12 per cent wine and 1.5 oz of 40 per cent spirits.

Deroo said that most people typically don’t measure how much they are drinking.

“If you were to drink a tall-boy of beer, that’s actually one and a half the size of a standard drink,” she said. “Or if you’re drinking a higher percentage of beer that actually affects the standard size of your drink, so you’re actually drinking more than you mean to and it’s affecting your health in a more precise way.”

In Oxford County, 55 per cent of the residents over the age of 19 reported that they exceeded the Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRADG) in the past year, which is 10 per cent higher than the provincial average.

Drinking too much can lead to many unwanted consequences and even low levels of alcohol (just 1.5 drinks a day) can have a significant impact on someone’s health.

Deroo said that the county is launching the campaign so that people are aware of their current drinking habits.

“We want to help you make healthier choices,” she said. “So helping you look at drinking patterns, how much you pour and how often and comparing these to the (LRADG) will help you become more healthy. Having this information available to people empowers them to make healthy choices for themselves.”

The county is also promoting its Pinterest board dedicated to alcohol-alternative drinks.

bchessell@postmedia.com

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