Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Principal takes the glass is half-full approach to febfast

Echuca South Primary School principal Karl Stenning will join thousands of others this month taking part in febfast.

KATHLEEN TONINI February 7, 2013 4:44am

Echuca South Primary School principal Karl Stenning will keep his glass empty for the month of February.

Echuca South Primary School principal Karl Stenning is fasting this month.

From alcohol that is, not food.

He is one of thousands of Australians who have given up booze for February as part of febfast.

The annual health campaign and fundraiser encourages Australians to give up alcohol in February and raise funds for young people battling drug and alcohol issues.

Mr Stenning is well aware of the fact many young people face alcohol and drug problems, having previously worked in a secondary school.

This is the second year he has been part of the febfast program.

Mr Stenning said he was not a big drinker, but found February a good time to go alcohol free after the Christmas and New Year period.

‘‘It’s a good experience because it’s a behavioral thing (drinking),’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a habit.’’

Mr Stenning said febfast provided good support and encouragement.

His highlight this year had been receiving a text from his liver, thanking him for the time off.

‘‘It’s done very well,’’ he said.

He said while drinking was a big part of Australian culture and some people’s responses to the idea were interesting, awareness was growing.

Since its inception in 2006, febfast has raised more than $4.5million for 43 programs across Australia which help young people overcome alcohol and drug issues.

Ambassador Dr Ginni Mansberg said taking a break from booze in febfast February was the best hangover cure available.

‘‘Not only will you have 28 days hangover-free, but last year 31 per cent of febfast participants improved their diet, 33 per cent exercised more, just under half lost weight, 58 per cent slept better and 73 per cent saved money,’’ Dr Mansberg said.

‘‘The febfast survey revealed that half of all Australians think they should give their body a break from the booze after the silly season and with Australia Day marking an end to the silly season, now is the perfect time to take a break from alcohol and kick start a healthier 2013.’’

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