Today marks the end of ‘Go Sober for October’. With Doctors asking for calorie labels to be put on alcohol bottles, going sober proves to have even more health benefits.
Each year people of all ages take part in ‘Go sober for October’ by putting down the bottles of booze and becoming teetotal for a whole month in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer. So far this year the campaign has raised almost £2.5 million.
The national campaign not only aims to raise money for the charity but also highlight the awareness of how easy it can be to go sober and the health problems that come along with excessive drinking, including gaining weight.
Doctors from the Royal Society for Public Health are now asking for calorie labels to be included on alcoholic beverages. They say that adults seem to be ‘blissfully unaware’ of how many calories are included in what they drink.
Nottingham Trent University this year launched their own event ‘Stay Sober for a Week in October’ for the final week of the month working with alcohol and drug charity, Double Impact. The aim was to teach students about the health issues associated with alcohol abuse.
Nottingham Trent Students Union is in full support of alcohol awareness and even run their own campaigns to help students. However, Josh Eloi says there is only so much that can be done, “we aren’t speaking to children here, they are aware of what they’re drinking and the effects that come with it.”
Freddie Peppiatt, a student at Nottingham Trent University who stayed sober for the duration of October said “I lost a lot of weight doing it and you don’t realise alcohol has so many calories in it.”
With the UK being one of the most obese nations in the world, maybe its time health authorities and the government looked into more campaigns that’ll encourage people to cut down. A glass of wine is said to have the same amount of calories as a doughnut and could ultimately lead to major health issues later in life.
Most people in the country are aware of the health risks that come with heavy drinking, from alcohol poisoning to liver disease, but weight gain is one of the lesser talked about issues which could still be very damaging to your health.
Josh Eloi says that at the students unions they actively encourage students to keep as healthy as possible. “We like our students to be very healthy and we’ve so far seen a decrease in drinking related incidents, specifically in Freshers Week.”
“When you give up alcohol you have to give up going out in the first few weeks.” -Freddie Peppiatt, Go Sober for October Participant
However, going sober or at least cutting down on how much you drink is no easy feat. Freddie said he did struggle in the first few weeks but as time passed he managed to get used to drinking soft drinks on nights out. Freddie said “to start out with it was quite hard, when you give up alcohol you have to give up going out in the first few weeks because it’s so hard to have that temptation there.”
In recent surveys, students were said to have gained on average up to two stone in weight in their first year alone. With alcohol consumption being a huge part of student culture this comes as no surprise. However with the potential introduction of calorie labels on alcoholic beverages maybe they’ll think twice before binging.