Dr Brown talks to us about keeping healthy over Christmas

2nd, December 2013

Christmas is a time of festive cheer for most of us, and what often follows is indulgence and spoiling ourselves one way or another! Christmas dinner, Christmas parties and lots of temptations with confectionery and alcohol...

Christmas is a time of festive cheer for most of us, and what often follows is indulgence and spoiling ourselves one way or another! 

Christmas dinner, Christmas parties and lots of temptations with confectionary and alcohol lead us into temptation and over Christmas we are in the mood to indulge rather than be sensible. Often, and maybe mostly, we regret afterwards eating or drinking so much and so our advice this Christmas season is by all means spoil yourself with a little bit of what you fancy, but try to make it a little bit of what you fancy, and no more, and do the eating and drinking in moderation.

It might surprise you to know that British people drink 40% more in December than any other month of the year, and 14% of people studied admitted that they had taken more alcohol than they intended to. 54% of men and 41% of women drink more alcohol than the recommended limit of 21 units per week, or 3 units per day, or one unit per hour*.

New Year’s day and the Saturday before Christmas are the 2 days in the year with the highest number of alcohol related attendances at A&E units throughout the country. Drink driving arrests and alcohol related road traffic accidents are amongst their highest levels at this time of year too. Sadly domestic abuse rises by 1/3 over the Christmas period and calls to the Samaritans are at their highest rates at Christmas and new year (although this is not exclusively related to alcohol consumption).

It might also surprise you to know that several studies by the British nutrition foundation have consistently shown that people in the United Kingdom gain on average 5 lbs in weight (which is 2kg) over the festive period.

Food is often prepared in a rush and levels of food poisoning are typically higher over the festive period too. Indigestion, heartburn, irritable bowel and other gastrointestinal conditions often result following overindulgence in food.Everything in moderation. Stick to sensible eating and sensible drinking to ensure that you have a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year in 2013.

*BBC News - British think tank Policy exchange

 

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