Milton Keynes residents urged to eat, drink and be merry in moderation this Christmas

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Christmas is a time for merriment and festivities and whilst everyone likes to let their hair down and enjoy the eating and drinking that comes at this time of year, it can be easy to get carried away and have one drink too many - leaving you with a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons!

Did you know a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a pint of lager has about the same calorie count as a packet of crisps? Long term over consumption of alcohol also increases the chances that drinkers will suffer from a range of health problems including heart and liver diseases, obesity, and mental illness.

This year NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging everyone enjoy the festive season safely and healthily by offering these simple tips:

Drink in moderation and opt for water or a soft drink every other round to lessen the effects of dehydration

Avoid mixing drinks and pay particular attention to measures when drinking at home as they tend to be more generous

Staying in or hosting a party? Have food first and offer soft drinks to your guests

Always ensure there is a designated driver

“From mince pies and chocolates to mulled wine and champagne, everyone has their favourite seasonal treat – and as long as you enjoy these specialities in moderation, there’s no harm done,” says Beccy White, people directorate at Milton Keynes Council.

“However, there is a tipping point where indulgence turns into overindulgence – and that’s when Christmas merrymaking can begin to have harmful effects on your health.

“Eating too many calories over the Christmas period can lead to gaining unwanted weight, we know that becoming overweight and obese puts us at risk of many negative health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Stay mindful of the amount of food and drink you consume, plan alcohol-free days and pass on going up for seconds!”

Dr Nicola Smith, Chair of NHS Milton Keynes CCG said: “Many people are risking their health by regularly drinking too much and probably don’t realise that they’re drinking more than they should be. Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. We want people to enjoy themselves and relax over the festive season, but to do so in moderation. When there’s lots of temptation around over the Christmas period, it’s even more important to remember to drink sensibly.”