In-depth reviews of the DrinkControl app.

Clinical review

Four out of five stars

Reviewer: Dr Peter Ou, GP and Clinical Editor, Auckland Regional HealthPathways
Date of review: June 2022
Platform: Apple
Version: 5.8.1
Comments: Users can learn about the pattern of their alcohol intake, the alcohol content of their beverages (in units) and how this fits with recommended amounts as per guidelines from other countries (non-NZ guidelines). Users will also learn the financial costs and caloric values of their alcoholic beverages in graph and pictorial formats.
Safety concerns: NZ users may be misled about how many units they are drinking, and whether their intake is within recommended guidelines if they select the incorrect regions within the settings. The WHO settings have the same definition for a standard unit of alcohol as NZ, but the recommended guidelines differ.
New Zealand relevance: In NZ a standard drink is defined as 10g of ethanol; however, there is no NZ region setting in the app. If users select the WHO definition of alcohol units in the settings then the definition is the same as NZ. All other available regions have different definitions of a standard drink, eg, Canada 13.45g, Germany 15g, UK 8g and US 14g. Therefore, it is important for NZ users to ensure they select the WHO definition for alcohol consumption. This is the default option when the app is opened. However, even then the recommended alcohol intake thresholds will differ from NZ recommendations (WHO recommended amount is lower).

User review


Member of the public, Wellington, New Zealand
Date of review: February 2022
Comments: Easy to use. Great record of weekly, quarterly and annual alcohol units. Helped me get units to below moderate over 18 months.

Clinical review

Garren Espin, Dietitian, Auckland Diabetes Centre 
Date of review: July 2016
Comments: This app is most useful for consumers of alcohol, especially frequent consumers. It enables consumers to see the monetary and calorie cost of their drinking habits. The app allows users to reflect on what their current drinking habits are doing to their health, such as hindering weight loss and their financial security. Tracking the monetary and calorie cost of an individuals drinking habits may facilitate behaviour change more than simply tracking alcohol intake alone.
Safety concerns: The weekly grading system could mislead one day binge drinkers into thinking their drinking behaviour was acceptable, eg, week graded as violet/non-excessive even though they consumed their weekly maximum in one night.
New Zealand relevance: There is no option to pick NZ-specific alcohol drinking standards.

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