Published by / Citation
Independent News
Original Language


United Kingdom
alcohol abuse
Digital Health

Alcohol intake app Drink Less could cut down unhealthy drinking, say scientists

An app that keeps track of how much a person is drinking could help reduce their alcohol intake by around two units a week – equivalent to a medium glass of wine, scientists say.

Researchers at UCL said their Drink Less app, which is available to download for free on Apple devices, can help people who are high-risk drinkers by allowing them to set goals, record how much they drink, and log their mood and sleep quality after drinking.

Their study, involving more than 5,000 people, found those randomly recommended to use the Drink Less app reduced their drinking by 39 units a week at six months. According to the research, women were found to benefit more from the app.

Lead author Dr Melissa Oldham, of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, said: “These results show that the Drink Less app can be useful for people looking to reduce their alcohol consumption.

Dr Claire Garnett, of UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care and the University of Bristol, who led a team in developing the app while at UCL, said: “Many apps offer to support people to cut down their drinking but this is the first randomised controlled trial of an alcohol reduction app for the general population in the UK.

Dr Sadie Boniface, head of research at the Institute of Alcohol Studies said: “Nice (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) already recommends digital interventions as an add-on to existing services, so having an app which we know is effective is very welcome news.

“If the Drink Less app can be scaled up and rolled out more widely, it holds promise for population health.

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