Call us on 13 1000

Life Insurance News

Tips, reports and trends for Australians

Subscribe to Feed Get a Quote Get a Quote or call us on 13 1000

How successful was your Dry July?

The Dry July challenge can help illustrate how a healthy attitude towards alcohol can improve your quality of life.

In 2008, Phil Grove, Brett Macdonald and Kenny McGilvary, set up a challenge for themselves: whoever went without alcohol for the longest would wini. Five years and $6.8 million laterii, a bet amongst friends has transformed into an international fundraising challenge and a not-for-profit organisation: Dry July.

The Dry July mission is straightforward - to raise funds to create better environments and support networks for adult cancer patients and their familiesii. And while the challenge sounds simple - no alcohol for one month - anyone that signs up for it soon realises how often they drink in social situations, such as at birthdays, weddings parties, post-work drinks, and sporting events.

For Grove, Macdonald and McGilvary, the now co-founders of the organisation, this is the secondary purpose of the Dry July campaign: "to raise awareness of individual drinking habits [...] and an awareness of a healthy attitude to alcohol consumption"ii.

Dry July is more than just a month without alcohol. It's about developing a healthy attitude towards alcohol consumption.

Healthy habits aren't only for July

Whether it's having drinks with mates after work or a few stubbies at a family barbeque, alcohol is entrenched in the Australian way of lifeiii. Keeping a healthy and sensible approach to drinking can significantly reduce the occurrence of alcohol related accidents as well as long-term related diseases and illnesses. Taking part in the Dry July challenge is a great way to kick-start your healthy approach to alcohol, however hopefully you take some of the lessons learnt forward with you.

The 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (AIHW 2005) found that 36% of men and 13% of women thought they could consume three to four standard drinks per day before putting their long-term health at riskiv. But according to the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) 2009 Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, to avoid the lifetime risks of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, no more than two standard drinks should be consumed per day^v. It is good to keep in mind that there is no level of alcohol that can be guaranteed to be completely "safe" or "no risk", as everyone possesses different levels of alcohol tolerance.

The risks of alcohol consumption

According to the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (AIHW 2008), 90% of Australians have tried alcohol at some point in their lives and of this cohort, 41% consume it weekly while 8% have something to drink every dayvi.

Yet one in five (over 3 million) Australians aged 14 years or older consume alcohol at a level that puts them at risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over their lifetimevii. Alcohol accounts for 13% of all deaths among 14-17 year-old Australians and is a significant contributor to premature death and hospitalisations among older Australiansviii. While people can learn to cope with, and compensate for, the deficits induced by alcohol, the reality is that alcohol can lead to very damaging long-term affects.

Making healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the development of long-term health concerns.

Most people know that long-term alcohol abuse can cause liver disease; alcohol consumption is the most common cause of cirrhosis of the liverix. What some people do not know is that alcohol is also associated with certain types of cancers including cancers of the mouth, throat, liver and stomachix. It also contributes to long-term heart damage, elevated blood pressure levels, and has been linked to some types of cardiac failure and strokex. Many alcoholic drinks are high in fat and calories, which can lead to heavy drinkers being overweight or obese, conditions which carry health problems in their own rightix.

Life insurance with Allianz can help to safeguard your family's financial future in the event of an accident, critical illness or death. Have peace of mind by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking out life insurance: get a quote online from Allianz today.

^One standard drink contains 10grams of pure alcohol. It is equivalent to 1 can/stubbie of mid-strength beer (3.5% alc. Vol), 100ml wine (13.5% alc. Vol) or a 30ml of nip spirits (40% alc. Vol)xi. A single occasion of drinking is a sequence of consuming drinks without the blood alcohol concentration reaching zero in betweenxii.


i Cottee, L., 2012, Dry July endeavour more than small beer, The Age, http://www.theage.com.au/national/melbourne-life/dry-july-endeavour-more-than-small-beer-20120619-20ly9.html

ii Dry July, About: Our Story, 2012, http://www.dryjuly.com/about/

iii Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia, Alcohol and Its Effects, http://www.dassa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=122

iv National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009, Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf, p.17

v National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009, Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf, p.2

vi National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009, Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf, p.13

vii 2010 national Drug Strategy Household Survey report, 2010, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, p.51

viii National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009, Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf?q=publications/synopses/_files/ds10-alcohol.pdf, p.26

ix National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2011, Alcohol and health in Australia, http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/your-health/alcohol-guidelines/alcohol-and-health-australia

x National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009, Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf, p.23

xi Australian Drug Foundation, Fact Sheets: What is a standard drink?, 2009, http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/fact-sheets/what-is-a-standard-drink-web-fact-sheet

xii National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009, Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf, p.3


More information

Social Sharing

More News

Allianz is Lifewise

Allianz Lifewise

Australia is one of the most under insured nations in the developed world.

Read more >>

Awards

Need help?

Need help? Ask our virtual online assistant.

Ask our virtual online assistant.

Ask a question »

Important note:
The insurance is issued by Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited ABN 27 076 033 782, AFSL 296559. The information contained on this website is general information only. It does not take into account your individual objectives or financial situation. You should therefore consider the appropriateness of the insurance having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Prior to making any decision you should read the Allianz Life Plan Product Disclosure Statement and Policy Document (PDS). You should seek advice from your financial adviser before deciding on appropriate insurance cover.