drink, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we probably won’t die

For years, I’ve had people telling me that I drink “too much”. And if you accept current recommendations as fact, then yes, I do. I like to have a pint on the way home from work, and sometimes have a can or two while relaxing at home. I don’t drive, and I rarely overdo it.

Anyway – I like to know what exactly I’m being accused of, so I tried researching what the limits are, and what happens if you break those limits. I came across some interesting information.

If you search online to find out what the limits are, you’ll see it written in many places as 21 units a week for males, and 14 a week for women. However, those numbers appear to have been pulled out of the air and contribute to “binge drinking” (“A lot of people think they can save up their units until the weekend–we are all guilty of that. . . . That’s where the problem lies.”).

Depending on the country, the limit is anywhere between 14 pints a week (USA) to 28 a week (Australia). Note that 28 is twice 14!

And what happens if you break that limit? According to statistics, people that drink up to five drinks a day have a lower mortality in all cases than people that don’t drink at all.

That’s incredible! To put it in other words, it is safer to have a few pints than to not drink at all. As an example, drinkers have half the risk of heart attack that non-drinkers have.

So, if someone close to you tells you to stop drinking because “it’s bad for you”, but you’re not overdoing it, tell them to back off – they are not in possession of all the facts.

4 Replies to “drink, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we probably won’t die”

  1. Interesting. Along your travels did you find anything related to *what* people drink? Is red wine really better than beer or spirits, for instance?

    Cheers! 🙂

  2. Andrew – the pages I read kind of conflicted on it. Apparently wine is drank by fitter people with higher IQs and better diets, but beer is drank by people that are less likely to die of a heart attack.

    Rick – 🙂 To be honest, I think I might need to look more in-depth into the studies – I read one case where the “non-drinkers” included some people who did not drink because of health problems. that kind of think would skew the results in favour of drinkers. I need to check a bit closer.

  3. Noirin has a good rebuttal for a lot of this over at NerdChic.

    She was having trouble commenting here, but I think I’ve fixed that problem now.

    Looks like I’ll need to do some better research!

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