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News Release

Blog raises awareness of link between moderate drinking and chronic disease

Jun 14, 2011
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is using social media – blogs, twitter and Facebook – in addition to traditional media to raise awareness of the health impacts of drinking beyond the low-risk drinking guidelines.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is using social media – blogs, twitter and Facebook – in addition to traditional media to raise awareness of the health impacts of drinking beyond the low-risk drinking guidelines.

“Most people know that drinking too much isn’t good for their health, but not many know that moderate drinking increases their risk of certain chronic diseases,” said Janice Greco, the manager of the health unit’s Injury and Substance Misuse Program (ISMP). “People can make responsible choices about their health provided they have good information, and given that so many people are using social media to get information, it makes sense for us to use it as well.”

The program has created the howmanydrinks.org blog and launched a contest to drive people to the blog, which aims to raise awareness about the health impacts of drinking beyond the low-risk drinking guidelines. They are also using Facebook and sending regular tweets to followers to increase interest in the issue and the contest, which offers one of two iPad 2s as a prize.

Moderate drinking of alcohol increases the risk of chronic diseases, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and strokes, liver disease and inflammation of the pancreas. The low-risk drinking guidelines that have been developed to help people minimize their risk suggest that people should consume no more than two standard drinks in one day and that the weekly number of standard drinks should not be more than nine for women and 14 for men.

“We often hear news stories about the link between cardiovascular health and alcohol, but it’s confusing to sort out what’s healthy and what’s not,” said Greco. “Knowing the low-risk drinking guidelines gives people some helpful information that they can use.”

For more information about the low-risk drinking guidelines and to enter the contest, visit the blog at www.howmanydrinks.org, see www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Your Health Connection Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.  

 

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