Does getting fit and eating better help you drink less?

Does getting fit and eating better help you drink less?
Credit: Queensland University of Technology

Could winning a battle with alcohol be helped by eating your greens and walking more? A national QUT study is underway to find out the answer.

Psychology researcher Hugh Dickson, from the university's Faculty of Health, is looking for who want to cut down their drinking and take part in the free On Track Alcohol online help program.

He is testing whether wider goals, like becoming more fit and eating better, can help people control how much they drink.

Surprisingly, it's a relationship that has not received much attention from researchers before.

There have been thousands of research trials around the world but only about half a dozen have addressed links between diet and ," Mr Dickson (pictured above) said.

"We believe our QUT project is the first study in Australia to do this.

"Nutritional neuroscience is an emerging field that is getting great results with some , such as people improving and changing their diet in relation to depression and ADHD.

"This is why some people have even nicknamed the stomach 'the second brain' and are investigating connections between gut health and the brain.

"So, my research is taking a holistic approach to drinking and looking at whether a focus on becoming healthier overall will help motivate people to drink less alcohol."

The free OnTrack Alcohol program is a confidential service that is available to anyone who has a computer or tablet with web access. It was developed by a team led by Australian psychologist and QUT researcher Professor David Kavanagh, with funding from the Queensland Government.

OnTrack Alcohol helps people decide what to do about their drinking and develop strategies to stay in control. For many participants, it results in strong, ongoing reductions in drinking.

Mr Dickson said his study would test whether providing extra information about general health via weekly email newsletters to selected participants improved their results.

People can sign up for the trial by visiting www.ontrack.org.au .


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