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AMA Victoria Board undertakes FebFast

30 January 2014

AMA Victoria’s Board members will undertake FebFast to prove to their patients, and themselves, that a month without alcohol is just what the doctor ordered.

FebFast provides an opportunity to reflect, change and break existing routines which have the ability to cause harm – in particular, excessive and unhealthy alcohol consumption.

“Victoria’s hospital emergency departments are filled with patients suffering alcohol related injuries. FebFast raises awareness about alcohol abuse and the drinking ‘culture’ that exists in our community,” President of AMA Victoria and Emergency Physician, Dr Stephen Parnis, said.

“We need to change the perception that alcohol, even in moderation, is harmless. Many chronic diseases are triggered by alcohol consumption, and the long term affects can include cancer, liver damage, heart disease, depression and dementia,” AMA Victoria Vice President and GP, Dr Tony Bartone, said.

“Regular and moderate levels of alcohol consumption are also damaging. Alcohol is closely associated with weight gain, as it adds calories to your diet but has no nutritional value. Many patients lose weight when they drink less,” Dr Bartone said.

“As a GP, I encounter many patients whose lives are affected by alcohol excess – not only alcohol-fuelled violence and the trauma that occurs with drink driving, but the deterioration in their physical and mental health associated with problem drinking, and the worry and sadness this brings to their families,” AMA Victoria Board member and GP, Dr Lorraine Baker, said.

“It can be hard to give up alcohol but FebFast presents an opportunity for people to discuss drinking habits and try a period of abstinence shared with others. I remain hopeful that heavy drinkers who abstain for four weeks will not resume their previous levels of drinking,” Dr Baker said.

“In the last week there has been research saying that more than half of women who binge drink continue to do so when pregnant, presenting great risk to their unborn children, including foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. FebFast is a month to stop, to break the cycle and get healthy”, AMA Victoria Board member and Radiology Registrar, Dr Xavier Yu, said.

AMA Victoria is greatly concerned by the excessive consumption of alcohol within our community and we are supportive of the call for a Parliamentary Inquiry into the marketing of alcohol to young people.

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Media contact

Felicity Ryan
Media & Public Affairs Officer
Australian Medical Association Victoria
Telephone: (03) 9280 8753
Mobile: 0437 450 506
Email: felicityr@amavic.com.au

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