The average Aussie consuming three times the daily recommended limit of sugar, and double the average alcohol consumption, with 12.2 litres annually. As the hangover from Christmas indulgence sets in, many Aussies will be casting their sights to the month-long pause from alcohol and sugar, as febfast returns in 2016.
The month-long challenge is powered by Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) and since its inception in 2008 has raised over $7 million. In 2016, YSAS are hoping to see even more Australians take on the challenge to reign in harmful habits, while raising funds for disadvantaged youth.
Encouraging Australians to take stock of their health and bad habits for nearly a decade, febfast’s 2015 enrolments saw over 6,000 participants commit to 672 hours without alcohol or sugar – with ninety two per cent maintaining these healthy habits today. While Aussies may be guilty of over-indulging in sugary treats and booze, research also shows that alcohol is an area of greatest concern for fun loving Aussies, with two in five indicating they want to cut back. And it’s exactly these individuals that febfast encourages to take on the challenge, according to febfast National Director, Laura Callow; ‘We know that February is a time when many Aussies are settling back into their routines – with the festive season just about done. This is also a time when people are setting their sights to the year ahead and wanting to embrace any of those New Year’s resolutions made, but not yet implemented! From those who’ve participated, we know that febfast offers benefits beyond just the month of February – with the act of self-control inspiring thousands of people to continue this way of life for some time to come.’
Whether ongoing or simply for the 29 days of February, research shows that as little as one month off booze can have significant health benefits – with a study by University College London seeing improvements in participants’ blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a lowered risk of developing diabetes and liver disease. This has also been echoed by febfast 2015 participants, who reported a transformative effect on their lives: 62 per cent said they lost weight during the month; 81 per cent saved money; 86 per cent became more aware of how their habits impact their health; 60 per cent became more productive at work; 44 per cent slept better, giving them more energy.
‘We know that Australians love a good challenge for a good cause – we are a nation of fun-running, mountain biking, mud clad warriors when it comes to supporting some of our country’s most disadvantaged people, so we know we can count on the goodwill of Aussies to support our specialist programs and health workers assisting disadvantaged youth’ said Callow. febfast participants won’t have to do it alone, with the organisation offering participants helpful survival tips, febfast friendly restaurants and bars, and ‘time out’ passes if you have a special occasion where sugar or alcohol is unavoidable. Registrations for febfast 2016 are now open to individuals and teams, so why not get a group of clients signed up at febfast.org.au
Source: Red Agency