It’s pretty well-known that the Scottish drink a lot. In a land covered by mist and clouds and infamous for inventing whiskey, the Scots take to the bottle pretty frequently – so frequently, in fact, that the Scottish government has devoted it’s latest public health campaign to tackling the alcohol issue. It’s not the first time; bar patrons in Scotland have long been required to purchase food if they want a drink before 11am (the necessity of this rule baffled me as an undergrad studying abroad in Scotland), and previous efforts have included the promotion of drinking water while you’re out. But Healthier Scotland’s newest campaign takes a new approach by focusing on women and playing into the trait so many females fall in to; vanity.
The ‘Drop A Glass Size‘ campaign encourages women, specifically, to evaluate how their drinking habits affect their health, and offers a variety of tools to help in the process – including a calorie calculator, a wine serving challenge, a drinks diary, a unit guessing gaming, and my personal favorite, the drinking mirror. The ‘Drinking Mirror’ app, playing off recent success of photo-enhancement apps, is available for both Android and iPhone as well as online and allows you to see how you’ll look as you age based on your current drinking habits. As you can see below, the results aren’t pretty – which is, of course, exactly the point.
As a public health campaign, it’s not totally off-target. The CDC recently released a study that one in eight women, and one in five high-school females, binge drink – a problem that results in the death of 23,000 U.S. women every year. Though binge drinking is a problem across both genders and notoriously among young people, the study drew attention for focusing primarily on females, much like the Scottish government’s newest tactics. Sure, playing into vanity may be a cheap trick – but after trying it, I’d say it works.