This Christmas and New Year Holiday season, Éduc’alcool has two gifts for the people of Quebec: a couple of brand new tools that will help them control their drinking and make it even easier to follow the low-risk drinking guidelines. One is the Calcoholator, a smartphone app with an integrated standard drink measure – itself a technological breakthrough and world premiere – and the other is the Drink Dashboard.
It’s great when people understand and stick to drinking limits and standard drink sizes; it’s even better when they have access to easy-to-use tools that help with the process. That’s why Éduc’alcool developed these simple, user-friendly apps: to make Quebecers aware of the importance of counting their drinks and measuring how much alcohol each one contains.
Calcoholator: Measuring the size of each drink
The new Calcoholator, with its integrated standard drink measure, is the smartphone version of the Éduc’alcool app. It allows users to measure the size (volume) of different types of alcoholic drinks, and indicates whether or not it’s a standard drink. If it’s not, the app shows how much to remove or add to achieve the correct amount.
The simple, practical app is available free in English or French for Apple and Android devices. It also estimates the amount of time people need to wait until their blood alcohol content drops below the legal limit for driving in Quebec. It goes without saying that this information is intended as a guideline only and has no legal value. As carefully designed as the application is, it is no substitute for good judgement. Its purpose is not to make decisions for those who drink, but to help them make enlightened decisions to ensure responsible drinking and behaviour.
Here’s how it works. Say you have a drink in front of you and you want to know how much is actually in the glass. You hold a bank card (or other card of the same size) beside the drink for scale, then take a picture of the drink and card together.
When the image is displayed, you click/touch the 2 upper corners of the card, and then the 4 corners of the liquid in the glass.
The app then tells you whether or not you have a standard drink and how much to remove or add to achieve the correct amount, if necessary.
Drink Dashboard: Tracking and controlling alcohol intake
The Drink Dashboard (http://www.drinkdashboard.com/) is an online tool to help people monitor and understand their drinking. It also provides other helpful information, including the impact of alcohol on health, the definition of a standard drink, calorie contents, and calorie equivalents in terms of common foods and physical activity.
Quebecers are increasingly attentive to their health and they’re becoming much more aware of the problems related to being overweight. With this tool they can track how many calories they are ingesting in the form of alcohol, see the food equivalent of those calories, and find out how much exercise it would take to burn them off.
The Drink Dashboard features a variety of functions, including an analysis of a person’s alcohol intake over 7-day periods.
The Calcoholator mobile app is extremely convenient not only during the festive Holiday season, but throughout the year. The Drink Dashboard is a handy tracker to help people control their drinking and become more aware of its impact. Both tools make the concept of the standard drink very real and help drinkers stick to the recommended limits of 2 drinks a day for women and 3 a day for men. Éduc’alcool is thus continuing to instill, in people’s minds and their glasses, the fundamental notion that moderation is always in good taste.