As recently explored, highlighting the negative impact of alcohol on sleep is a winner for motivating risky drinkers to cut down. But punchy ‘brief advice’ strategies to actually help the drinker to do so are perhaps a bit harder to find. Many people may be unenthusiastic about to switching to weaker drinks or alternating with soft drinks.
So can lower-strength drinks play a role in reducing consumption? A recent report from John Moore’s University has urged caution from a policy perspective. It found that although lower strength drinks will help reduce harm where people swap them for stronger drinks, they may also create more drinking occasions where alcohol consumption is introduced. For instance, a weaker lager may make a lunchtime tipple more acceptable.
This conveniently reminds us that keeping an eye on the number of drinking occasions we have, as well as how much we drink when we do, is key for keeping as close to lower risk drinking as possible. But actually I did recently try a 2.8% ‘extra pale’ lager that was actually quite satisfactory. Not something I was expecting if I’m honest!