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New App Targets Appearance-Conscious Drinkers

A new smart phone application released by the Scottish government shows how alcohol abuse can change your appearance.

While the “Drinking Mirror” may not address the more severe long-term health concerns of alcohol abuse, it does reveal a consequence that heavy drinkers might overlook.

The app is very simple to use. You download it on your Android or iPhone device, upload a photo (or choose one from your gallery) and then position the face and eyes in a template. Choose the number of drinks you consume per week and then sit back and watch the transformation.

The results are startling. On a recent episode of TODAY, women at a Houston area tavern tested the Drinking Mirror app on camera. While they weren’t happy with their “after” photos, the group was skeptical of the app’s methodology, arguing that too many other variables, like genetics, fitness, and diet, were left out.

Nonetheless, the app could be valuable for spreading awareness about some of the subtle yet undesirable effects of drinking. “Binge drinking leads to problems with your body and your brain and self harming behaviors that can lead to addictive behavior,” said intervention specialist Brad Lamm on TODAY.

Although the Drinking Mirror app comes from Scotland, the problem is not unique to that locale. 1 in 8 American women are binge drinkers who consuming at least 6 drinks at a time, according to the CDC.

Original photo by Jennifer Lord Photography on Flickr.