This site is intended for health professionals only

Online booze tracker monitors drinking habits

If you find it difficult to keep track of just how many glasses of wine you've consumed during the week, help is at hand thanks to Cancer Research UK.

The charity's new interactive "Track Your Drinking" Google gadget allows people to monitor their drinking habits while comparing them to recommended intake levels - one small drink a day for women (about two units) and two small drinks a day for men (about three to four units). The gadget also allows users to compare their drinking levels to national averages for different age groups and regions.

The "Track Your Drinking" Google gadget is easy to install, either online via the "iGoogle" homepage, or on a computer using Google Desktop.

Once the gadget is installed, users enter what they drink each day. The gadget instantly converts this to units and calories, and over time creates an easy-to-understand chart.

Ed Yong, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Guidelines about drinking limits can be confusing if people don't know how many units are in common drinks, or find it difficult to keep track of what they drink over time."

Along with smoking, alcohol causes the vast majority of mouth and food pipe cancers. In the last decade, mouth cancer has become much more common and this may be because of higher levels of drinking. Scientists have also estimated that alcohol causes about 2,000 cases of breast cancer in the UK every year.

To use the online drinking tracker visit Track Your Drinking and follow the instructions.

Cancer Research UK