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‘Dry january’: what is the withdrawal phenomenon that causes so much talk?

After the excesses of the Christmas holidays, returning to routine usually means good eating and sports habits. This special care has become a challenge, called “Dry January”.

The phenomenon, whose name can be literally translated as “Dry January”, consists of spend the entire month of January without consuming a drop of alcohol. The challenge therefore invites you to break habits and take special care of your body for a short period.

What benefits?

In addition to promoting awareness about our actual alcohol consumption, meeting the goal can have positive effects on the body.

Alcohol, consumed in excess, “damages the plasma membrane of cells, producing an inflammatory reaction in the skin,” recalls Raquel González, cosmetologist and director at Pure Skincare Cosmeceutica. Its consumption also represents a significant caloric intake (up to 265 kcal per 100 ml for strong alcohols such as anise) and can make it difficult to reconcile the soil.

In the most extreme cases, it can also have an impact on diabetes, digestion, heart health, sexual function or even cancer risk: “excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of having many types of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, throat, liver, esophagus, colon and breast. Even moderate alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing breast cancer,” say Mayo Clinic experts.

Hence the importance of controlling your consumption, not only temporarily, but in the long term.

What does the data assure?

More and more studies point to more responsible consumption than in the past. Only 8% of teenagers drink alcohol every week, a third of those their age in 2006, according to the HBSC study, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Spanish Network of Health Promoting Universities (REUPS) and Fundación MAPFRE analyzed the behavior of a total of 16,574 university students, a group that is “in a stage of development in which habits are acquired that are maintained in adulthood”, and which, therefore, constitutes a “target population to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors.”

Among its results, it stands out that “almost 36% of university students recognize that they consume alcohol between 2 and 4 times a month; followed by 25% who drink at most once a month; 19% who never consume; 17% do it 2 or 3 times a week; and 2.10% who drink “more than 4 times a week.”

These data reflect that about 75% present a “low risk” of addiction to alcohol. alcohol, followed by 19.7%, who present “medium risk” of addiction, 2.7%, “high risk”; and 1.7%, “possible addiction.” Women present a lower risk of medium-high addiction than men, 20% compared to 27.4%.

The disparities become more evident between different age groups. According to Alcohol Change, mentioned by Guardiana quarter of people aged 18 to 34 plan to abstain from drinking in January, only 10% of people aged 55 and over are considering it.

The same happens with people who want to reduce their alcohol consumption in 2023: 40% of the 18 to 34 age group intend to do so, compared to 20% of those over 55 years of age, despite the fact that this last age group He claims to drink twice as much as young people in a week.

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