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“ [This is] the doctrine that we cannot accept the command of an authority, however exalted, as the ultimate basis of ethics. For whenever we are faced with a command by an authority, it is our responsibility to judge whether this command is moral or immoral. The authority may have power to enforce its commands, and we may be powerless to resist. But unless we are physically prevented from choosing the responsibility remains ours. It is our decision whether to obey a command, whether to accept authority. ” - Immanuel Kant

Here are a series of information and assessment handouts on alcohol and food.  "We are what we eat" is bit over-simplified, but only a bit.  It's amazing how important what we eat and drink is for our psychological and physical health.  This site's blog posts  "New research shows diet's importance for preventing depression" and "Preventing cancer through life style choices" make this point well and also provide links with many other sources of information.  Searching the tag cloud brings up much recent relevant research and advice.  Try clicking, for example, on diet or the more specific fats, fruit and vegetables.  For additional information, note that the blog has a whole series of posts on the crucial importance of lifestyle choices, including how we use or abuse alcohol.

I'm a big fan of the Harvard School of Public Health "Nutrition source" website.  I think their "Healthy eating plate" and "Healthy eating pyramid" downloadable PDF pictures are great.  As handouts, I add some key points from the Nutrition source site to the back of the Healthy eating plate picture.  Similarly I add a somewhat longer set of Nutrition sources comments to the back of the Healthy eating pyramid picture when handing this out.  See the two blog posts "Emerging research on diet suggests it's startingly important in the prevention of anxiety & depression" and "So what dietary advice should we be following - for psychological as well as physical health?" for more about all this.

To hammer in the key issue of diet's effects on the development of anxiety and depression, I use the "Diet, anxiety & depression" Powerpoint slides that I've produced as a six-slides-to-a-page handout.  See to the blog post "Zinc and depression"

There are a wealth of freely downloadable handouts about food available on the internet.  I like the series of over 50 leaflets produced by the British Dietetic Association including Healthy eating - getting the balance rightA healthy breakfast - the best start to your day; Fruit & vegetables - enjoy 5 a day!; Healthy packed lunches; Healthy snacks; Whole grains - the way to go; Fluid - why you need it and how to get enoughVegetarian diets - keeping a healthy balancePre-menstrual syndrome - can diet help?; Want to lose weight and keep it off ... ?Diet and depression; Food allergies and intolerances - what are they?; The truth about ... food allergy and food intolerance testing; Cholesterol facts; Fat - getting the balance right; Omega-3 fatty acids; Folic acid - but visit the BDA site for another thirty to forty options.

There is also good advice from the British Nutrition FoundationHealthy eating: a whole diet approach, ideas for Healthy packed lunches, and Healthy eating for school-age children.

The "Mediterranean Diet" is one of the best supported approaches to healthy - and very enjoyable - eating.  The Mayo Clinic provides some practical advice at "Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option" and "Blog: The new Mediterranean Diet Pyramid", while over at Amazon UK see a bunch of yummy cookbooks by searching on "Mediterranean cooking".

Alcohol disorder assessment - two question screen - this is a useful two question screen for alcohol problems.  Other options include the well-known four question CAGE.

Alcohol disorder assessment - AUDIT and scoring - this is the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) developed by the World Health Organization to help identify people whose alcohol consumption has become hazardous or harmful to their health.

Damage caused by alcohol - this one page handout highlights some of the worrying and significant damage caused by excessive alcohol use.

What is a unit of alcohol? - it is easy to be drinking more alcohol than one realizes.  This one page handout clarifies what a unit of alcohol is and how many units are likely to be in a number of commonly consumed drinks.

How to cut down on your drinking - this 6 page adapted World Health Organization guide to cutting down on drinking contains a whole series of useful suggestions.  For links to several other good alcohol-related sites click here.

Drinking diary - here is a simple one page, four week alcohol consumption diary form.

5 stages of change - this is a handout detailing Prochaska & Clemente's 5 stages of change (and 10 processes of change) model - useful as orientation when working to produce changes in health behaviours. 

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