The long-term effects of excessive alcohol use may include the following physical, psychological and social effects.


Tolerance – Ability to drink progressively larger amounts without apparent intoxication

Alcohol seeking behavior – Craving, continuing to drink despite adverse affects

Withdrawal – Anxiety, agitation, confusion, shakes and fits which occur when alcohol consumption is suddenly stopped

Accidents – Accidents at work or at home and road accidents leading to possible head injury and broken bones

Liver disease – Liver information and fat deposition liver failure,  Cirrhosis,  Cancer

Stomach and bowel disease – Heartburn and indigestion due to an inflamed stomach,  Diarrhoea, Ulcers Cancer of bowel Inflammation of the pancreas leading to abdominal pain or inability to absorb food

Nervous system – Damage to nerves, leading to numbness in the legs and difficulty walking, loss of sensation in hands

Brain – Cell damage, resulting in loss of memory,  Difficulty learning,  Confusion,  Hallucinations,  Poor coordination and balance

Heart and blood vessel disease – High blood pressure Palpitations Enlarged heart Heart failure

Sexual and reproductive disorders – Damage to the testicles leading to impotence Damage to the unborn baby

Muscle – Weakness Loss of muscle tissue

Bone and Joint disorders – Gout (Painful swelling of the joints, most commonly the big toe) Osteoporosis


Depression and inability to cope, Difficulty sleeping, Anxiety and agitation, Confusion and panic attacks, Alcohol ‘blackouts’, Suicide


Domestic problems – Loss of friends, difficulties in marriage or other significant relationships leading to separation and divorce, neglect of children

Occupational – Lateness or absences from work, poor work performance leading to demotion or failure to gain promotion and loss of employment

Financial problems – Loss of regular income from employment, hardship from money spent on alcohol, gambling debts

Legal problems – Drink-driving offences/loss of licence, property crime, assault, homecide


A healthy body weight and regular physical activity reduces the risk of bowel, breast, kidney and endometrial cancer and gives you more energy ans vitality, making you feel better.

What is overweight?

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) over 25, or a waist measurement over 80cm for women or 90cm for men. Use a tape measure to find out your waist measurement (at the navel for men, and around the narrowest point for women).

Calculate your BMI

BMI is a measure of your weight for height. Work out your BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.

BMI = 18.5 – 25 healthy weight
BMI = 25 – 30 overweight
BMI > 30 obese

A BMI over 25 means it is time to take action for better health, and reduce your risk of cancer.

How to manage your weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is a matter of balancing the energy from food with the amount of energy burned each day. To cut down on kilojoules, keep portion sizes moderate and limit your consumption of high-fat foods

Be physically active

Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer, especially bowel and breast cancer.

How much physical activity is needed?

Walking is great exercise. You don’t have to join a gym to be more active. Choose activities you enjoy and that fit in with your routine or lifestyle. Try to be active every day in as many ways as you can.

  • If you are inactive, any increase is beneficial
  • For good general health, do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, daily. You can achieve this by doing three 10-minute sessions in a day
  • To reduce your cancer risk, do one hour of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity, such as jogging or cycling, daily

Be as active as you can

  • Take the stairs, not the lift
  • Get off the bus or train one stop earlier and walk
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Park further away from your destination
  • Have some active fun such as bike riding, ballgames or join a sporting team
  • Walk with a friend or join a walking group
  • Take a dancing class

Food pyramid

healthy eating food pyramide

Diabetic pyramid


High fat diets can lead to obesity and an increased risk of endometrial, bowel, breast and kidney cancer. Obesity also increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Choose foods low in fat, particularly saturated fat, and use healthy oils sparingly.

Good and bad fats

A small amount of fat is essential for health. Choose small amounts of healthier fats. the good fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. The fats to avoid are saturated fats as they can cause high blood cholesterol levels.

Foods with good fat

  • Olive, canola, sunflower, soybean, sesame and peanut oil
  • Polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarines
  • Avocado
  • Nuts (all kinds)
  • Seeds eg sesame and sunflower
  • Oily fish eg salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna

Food with bas fat

  • Butter, cheese, cream, ice cream
  • Pastries, biscuits, cakes, pies and chocolate
  • Fried take-away foods
  • Fat on meat, bacon, sausages, salami
  • Coconut cream
  • Palm oil

Shop weekly for vegetables and fruit to ensure you have a fresh supply.

Enjoy fruit as a snack or for dessert.

Add fresh or canned fruit to your breakfast cereal.

Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables.

Include at least three different coloured vegetables with your main meal.

Include salad with your lunch.

For interest and variety, cook vegetables in different ways eg oven roasted or grilled.

Use frozen, dried or canned vegetables and fruit if fresh are not available.

Adapt your recipes to include more vegetables, eg add carrot, celery and peas to Bolognese sauce.

Healthy eating

Eating Plenty of vegetables and fruit may lower the risk of developing cancers of the digestive tract (mouth, pharynx,oesophagus,stomach and bowel) and possibly lung, kidney and bladder cancer. Vegetables and fruit contain natural substances, such as antioxidants, that can destroy cancer-causing agents (carcinogens). It is important to eat variety of vegetables and fruit.

Vegetables and fruits are low in fat and high in fiber and are excellent foods for helping you maintain a healthy body weight, which also helps lower the risk of some cancers.

Five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day are recommended for good health and for reducing the cancer risk.

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