February - a month with water
Over 122 460 people in Belgium are passing February without drinking a drop of alcohol - Tournée Minérale. Figures show that in 2013, 82% of Belgians drank alcohol, despite the risks associated with alcohol consumption. Tournée Minérale is an initiative of the Belgian Foundation against Cancer and a number of partners, among them a Eurocare member - VAD.
Alcohol: No innocent product
Alcohol drinking has become quite normal. A glass of wine with dinner, a pint after exercise, for many it is part of the (daily) routine. Yet there are many risks associated with alcohol, and not only for the problem users. Alcohol affects almost all organs of the body and is linked to about sixty different disorders including serious health problems, such as a blackout, heart disease, liver disease and cancer.
"Alcohol increases the risk of several cancers." said dr. Mathijs Goossens, spokesman Cancer Foundation. Alcohol increases the risk of several cancers: mouth and throat; larynx, esophagus, liver, stomach, breast (in women) and colon and rectum (in men). It also has a negative influence on the quality of life: it can, among other things lead to sleep disturbances, memory problems, difficulty in relationships and to addiction.
Advantages of a month without
There is more than enough reasons to put alcohol for a month on the side. Your body gets time to recover from your usual alcohol consumption. Many people notice that month gradually they sleep better and feel fitter. You also save a lot of money. And you get fewer calories, so you can even lose weight. Tournée Minérale website provides you with a calculator to estimate just how much money and calories you can save if you do not drink alcohol for a month.
"The campaign will make people realize how fast they drink a glass under normal circumstances, out of habit" said Marijs Geirnaert, Director VAD "Research in other countries where such campaigns have existed, showed that participants even some time after the action often still drink less."
Finally, the campaign also supports a good cause. Participants will receive, without obligation, the option to raise money for the Cancer Foundation. The money collected will be used for cancer research. To date, this initiative collected 146 744 EUR for cancer research.
The campaign website Tournée Minérale - www.tourneeminerale.be - helps everyone on track to meet the challenge. Participants can register and thus indicate that they participate in the campaign. Teams may also enroll in Tournée Minérale, for a month-long alcohol drinking is so much more fun and easier if your friends, your family or your colleagues to join.
There are also many recipes for non-alcoholic beverages on the site. As developed Marie Claessens The Mocktail Club, the only real Tournée Minérale Mocktail, and shares a number of other recipes with the participants.
Vegetable chef Frank Fol, one of the faces of the campaign, even calling restaurants to participate in Tournée Minérale and look for refreshing recipes for non-alcoholic alternatives for their clients.
Even more familiar faces participate: federal Minister Kris Peeters, Jean-Michel Saive, Frank Fol and Joy Anna Thielemans, Frédéric Heylen, coach 'wordfit, the largest online community fit of Flanders.
Belgian Member of the European Parliament, champion on health issues - Mark Tarabella is also actively participating and even tweeting about his progress.
Join the on Twitter #TourneeMinerale
Photo taken from #TourneeMinerale website