Revealed: Efforts to stay sober during Dry January frequently hit the rocks because socialising make it harder to abstain, research shows
- Researchers analysed studies covering 3,300 people on drinking more sensibly
- Individuals made plans like switching to soft drink once they had had three units
It’s the kind of dispiriting news that could turn you to drink.
As dry January draws to a close, a study has revealed that well-intentioned attempts to cut back on alcohol are usually ineffective.
Researchers analysed 16 studies, covering more than 3,300 participants, on commitments to drink more sensibly.
In every study, individuals made detailed plans, such as pledging to switch to a soft drink once they’d had three units – the equivalent of a large glass of wine.
As dry January draws to a close, a study has revealed that well-intentioned attempts to cut back on alcohol are usually ineffective (file image)
But the study found drinkers were just as likely to over-indulge in a single session, whether they had a plan or not.
Richard Cooke, a professor who led the review at Staffordshire University, said: ‘Plans work well to help people become more active or stick to low-fat diets.
‘But it is the social aspect of drinking which makes a plan less effective.’
Published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, the analysis suggests it might help if people focus on the motivating factors of cutting back on alcohol, such as weight loss and health benefits.