Online Tool Can Cut College Drinking

Students quickly learn if their consumption is at abnormal levels, experts say

FRIDAY, March 16, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- On online program called e-CHUG (electronic Check-Up to Go) can help change American college students' views about what is considered normal drinking and reduce their alcohol consumption, new research suggests.

"The program asks students a series of questions about their drinking. Based on their responses, it assembles a customized profile of how much the student is drinking and spending on alcohol, how many calories they are consuming, and a variety of different risk factors," researcher Scott Walters, of the University of Texas School of Public Health, said in a prepared statement.

His team published its findings in the March issue of the journal Prevention Science.

The 16-week study of 350 college students found that those who received personalized feedback from e-CHUG reported a decrease in their drinking twice as quickly as students who received no feedback.

After receiving feedback, students were better able to compare their drinking levels with other students. Students who were more accurate in estimating their drinking relative to other students showed the largest reductions in alcohol consumption.

"The program also provides information on how the student's drinking fits in with other college students. It can be a real surprise to some students to find out they're in the 95th percentile in terms of their drinking. It just never occurred to them," Walters said.

The San Diego State University Research Foundation manages e-CHUG, which is used by more than 300 college campuses in 42 states.

More information

Here's where you can find e-CHUG.

Robert Preidt and Consumer news

Updated on March 16, 2007

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