Blog: A January detox only leads to a retox
James Wilmore | 23 November 2012
Alcohol Concern - a UK-based charity aimed at cutting alcohol harm - is urging drinkers to have a "dry January". But is this a credible strategy?
"Feel better. Save money. Make a difference," its website says. You can also get friends and family to sponsor you, which seems like a bit of a stretch.
But what seems particularly odd is that another leading charity, with lots in common with Alcohol Concern, the British Liver Trust said a year ago that a January detox is "medically futile".
"People think they're virtuous with their health by embarking on a liver detox each January with the belief that they are cleansing their liver of excess following the festive break," said chief executive Andrew Langford.
"You're better off making a resolution to take a few days off alcohol a week throughout the entire year than remaining abstinent for January only."
Having tried this British tradition a few times, I would have to agree. Indeed a former colleague, who used to do a January detox, always relished the prospect of a "retox" night in early February, no doubt undoing all his good work.
Alcohol Concern, which also runs Alcohol Awareness Week, ending this Sunday, must believe that people will have a month off and realise the error of their ways. But I'm not sure it works like that.
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The UK health lobby is always very vocal on alcohol at this time of year, predictably so, and this year is no different. ...
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