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Microsoft word - media release febfast 2014
The new hangover: courtesy of sugar, caffeine and digital overload
FebFast is back and challenging Aussies to take a break from bad habits
A boozy night out may not be the only reason behind a hazy hangover feeling, with Australia’s
overconsumption of sugar, caffeine and screen-time redefining the typical hangover.
Aussies are drinking 10 litres of pure alcohol a yeari - that’s approximately 25 bottles of vodka a year
The majority (79%) of Australian women view our sugar filled diet as our biggest health concerniii.
More than two billion cups of coffee are consumed in cafes, restaurants and other outlets each yeariv.
On average, each of us spends 4.1 hours of leisure time in front of screens every day (that’s a month
From caffeine craving induced headaches, to being sluggish at work in need of a 3pm chocolate hit, many of us
are experiencing hangover symptoms on a daily basis.
Australia’s favourite hangover cure, FebFast, is extending its 28 day alcohol-free challenge in 2014 to include
the choice to take a break from sugar, caffeine or digital overload (TV, social media, computer and tablet
consumption) for the month of February, to raise money for young people struggling with drug and alcohol
Howard Ralley, National Director of FebFast, said we all battle to tame our cravings and a break is sometimes
needed to recognise how our bad habits may be affecting our bodies.
“We’ve all been there. One drink after work turned into five, or we’ve had chocolate for breakfast and four
lattes before lunch time and feel worse for it. FebFast provides the perfect motivation to take time out and
“If you look at alcohol alone, one in six of us guzzle more than 11 drinks in a sitting on a monthly basisvi. And
it’s taking a toll, both personally and on the community.
“After a silly season of excess, FebFast is just the tonic to kick-start healthy New Year resolutions and support
youth addiction through fundraising and awareness. Resisting your cravings for 28 days is a tiny insight into the
challenges young people with serious addiction issues face every day.”
For those who feel daunted at the prospect of taking time out from things like Twitter and TV, FebFast has
created some simple (and realistic) guidelines to follow that will be provided to all registered FebFasters.
“We don’t call FebFast a challenge for nothing and we absolutely recognise the idea of cutting out sugar, for
example, can be overwhelming. So our rules are straight-forward and provide an easy to follow guide to your
A full list of FebFast guidelines are included below.
FebFast 2014 will also be introducing Family FebFast, allowing a family to register together and each take on a
Mr Ralley said many Australians are worried about their loved ones health.
“Research suggests that less than half of us feel our parents are in good health, we’re worried about our
partners’ stress levels and children’s consumption of alcohol continues to concern parents.vii
“We may not all be trained nutritionists or qualified physiologists, but we can spot addictive or unhealthy
behaviour when we see it. FebFast is a reason for families to take stock of their daily habits and support each
other to take a pause for the better.”
Over six years, FebFast has raised over $5.6 million for solutions to youth addiction and inspired nearly
1,000,000 alcohol-free days. Almost all (97 per cent) of FebFasters reportedviii at least one lifestyle benefit
from taking a break from alcohol, including:
73 per cent of participants reduced their alcohol consumption post-February and 92 per cent
intended to maintain these positive changes.
Funds raised from FebFast will support a number of organisations, including Youth Support + Advocacy Service
and Family Drug Support, helping young people regain control in their lives.
For more information and to register to take part visit FebFast.org.au.
Howard Ralley, National Director for FebFast, is available for interview on request.
Previous FebFasters are available and can speak to their experience of giving up alcohol for a month.
Patron of FebFast and Professor of Public Health at the Melbourne School of Population Health,
University of Melbourne, Rob Moodie, can speak to the latest research around drug and alcohol use.
Please contact Emily Bellemore, Media Manager for FebFast, on (03) 8412 8506 or 0401 021 015 or
i ABS per capita consumption of pure alcohol 2010-11
ii Based on 1L of Smirnoff Vodka containing 37.5% alcohol.
28 days without alcohol, including low alcohol drinks, with the exception of lemon, lime and bitters.
iv BIS Foodservice - Coffee and Beverages 2012
he New Multi-Screen World”, March 2013
vi FARE ‘Over the Limit’ a Profile of Australians who drink’, August 2013
28 days without high sugar foods. Use labels as a guide: anything with over 5.0g of sugar per 100g is a no-go. Simple substitutes can be made,
vii Facing the Health of Australians – March 2013
including replacing low fat with full fat dairy products and replacing soft drink with mineral water. A guide on what to avoid and substitute items
28 days without caffeine: including coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks. As a guide, if a product contains more than 40mg of
caffeine, it’s a no-go. A guide on what to avoid and substitute items will be provided to registered users.
Every evening in February from 7pm onwards: no TV, DVD’s, laptop, tablet, smartphone (except if it rings!), gaming or e-Readers.
One family member registers their family as a team. Each member nominates a ‘fast’ to take on and the family fundraises together.
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