04.01.2024 - Many benefits of skipping alcohol in January, according to alcohol researcher Torgeir Gilje Lid and Ragnhild Kaski, Secretary General of Av-og-til.
"We are pleased to see that so many have considered taking a month's break from alcohol. A dry January has many positive effects. Not least after a December where there can be a bit too much of everything. It provides positive health effects and a good opportunity for reflection on one's own alcohol habits," says Secretary General of Av-og-til, Ragnhild Kaski.
A survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the alcohol awareness organization shows that 27 percent of Norwegians have considered a dry January.
The alcohol initiative is supported by doctor and researcher Torgeir Gilje Lid at the Regional Competence Center for Substance Abuse Research in Health West. He points out several advantages of trying out an alcohol-free month.
"It is a good way to become aware of how alcohol affects the body and psyche. In addition, a break from alcohol can have several positive consequences, such as better sleep quality, weight loss, and improved fitness. If one adopts better habits after such a month, it can also contribute to better health and reduced risk of many diseases," says Lid.
It's not a disaster to falter Not everyone finds it easy to cut out alcohol for a whole month. Many will also face challenges during such a month. But if you struggle to keep it up, it's not the end of the road.
"The good news about alcohol and health is that every single glass you cut out is good for your health. If you falter during dry January, it's not a disaster! And if it seems insurmountable to cut out alcohol completely in January, a reduction can be of great benefit," emphasizes Kaski.
Five tips for a successful dry January
Prepare yourself! The better prepared you are, and the more carefully you have thought through various situations in advance, the easier it is. Prepare for what to do and say in situations where alcohol is served.
Team up with someone. Tell your family and friends about your dry January, and team up with someone who also wants to take the challenge.
Plan activities. There are many fun activities without alcohol. How about a good ski trip? Making a new dish or playing board games?
Get back on the horse. If it slips a little and you have a glass, there's no reason to think the whole project is wasted. Every glass you cut out is good for your body!
Get an overview. Get an overview of your alcohol consumption, for example at www.drikkestatus.no, for a little extra motivation.
About the survey The survey was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Av-og-til in the period January-March 2023. 2668 people were interviewed nationwide in a representative sample.
About health and alcohol The link between alcohol and the risk of disease has become increasingly clear, and according to the WHO, alcohol increases the risk of more than 200 diseases. Among them are serious diseases like cancer, dementia, and anxiety and depression. In Norway, around 700 cancer cases annually can be attributed to alcohol use. According to research, there is no safe lower limit, but each glass of alcohol you cut out reduces the risk of disease.