Drinks Often Contain More Alcohol Than People Realize: Report


alcoholic drinkThe alcohol content of beer and wine varies widely, meaning people often end up consuming more alcohol than they realize, according to a new report.

Consumers may incorrectly estimate the amount of alcohol in drinks such as premium light beers, flavored hard ciders, malt beverage coolers and craft beers, the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group says.

“A one or two percentage point difference in alcohol content between beer brands may not sound like much, but proportionally it’s pretty big and the difference adds up over a number of drinks,” said the report’s lead scientist, William Kerr.

A federal law that requires alcohol manufacturers to list the alcohol content by volume on their products’ labels is optional for beer and wine makers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

U.S. federal guidelines state a standard drink has 0.6 ounces of alcohol. If a beer is 5 percent alcohol by volume, a standard drink would be 12 ounces. The article notes many European imported beers have 8 to 10 percent alcohol by volume, and several American craft beers have between 6 and 7 percent. Bud Light Platinum is 6 percent alcohol by volume.

If wine is 12 percent alcohol by volume, a standard drink would be 5 ounces. The amount of alcohol in wine varies widely, with Prosecco, Riesling and Pinot Grigio on the low end, and Petite Syrah, Madeira, Sherry and Port on the high end.

“A lot of the wines now are 14 percent or even 15 percent commonly, and the standard 5-ounce glass of wine doesn’t apply to that level,” Kerr told HealthDay. “Really a 4-ounce glass is more appropriate. And we’ve learned from our studies of bars and restaurants that the average glass is a little bit over 6 ounces.” He noted one glass of wine may actually contain about 50 percent more alcohol than a person expects.

By Join Together Staff 

Reason, Season, or a Lifetime

glassPeople come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When you figure out which it is, you will know exactly what to do.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go..

Some people become friends and stay awhile…

leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts…

and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!!

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person or people involved; and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships, and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

When you read this, just recite the following prayer.
That’s all you have to do. There is nothing else attached.
This is the power of prayer at work.

May today there be peace within you.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
Let His presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
dance, and to bask in the sun.
It is there for each and every one of you.

The Awesome Power of Prayer

Guide for Parents on Talking to Kids About Alcohol

Science can be a powerful tool for parents and educators seeking to persuade middle-school students not to drink alcohol, says a new book from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“Delaying That First Drink: A Parents’ Guide” was produced by the AAAS Science Inside Alcohol Project, which is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It discusses research on the impact of alcohol on the growing body and offers tips on how to talk to kids about drinking.

“Studies show that adolescents who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later in life,” the book says. “So, convincing your kids to delay that first drink can make a big difference to the rest of their lives.”

Shirley Malcom, the director of Education and Human Resources programs for AAAS, said the new book spotlights the need for parents and others to pay more attention to the risks of pre-teen drinking.

“A lot of people pay attention to high schoolers who drink because they often will combine that with driving,” Malcom said. “What has a lot less visibility is the fact that you have fourth, fifth and sixth graders who drink, leading to later consumption at even higher levels.”

Such drinking can lead to impaired school performance, early sexual activity, and other risky behaviors, Malcom said.

The book is available online at: http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/alcohol/parents/book-final.pdf. It is meant to build awareness among parents, caregivers, coaches and others who interact with kids about the effects that alcohol can have on young bodies, particularly on brain development. It discusses the impact of alcohol on the digestive system, the central nervous system, the heart, the liver and other organs.

As part of the alcohol project, AAAS conducted an online survey with seventh graders from several middle schools in the northeastern United States. Responses from 143 students showed that they knew very little about the science of alcohol and how it affects the human body. Nearly half of the respondents had no idea how alcohol is derived and nearly one-third could not describe which body systems are affected by the substance.

The book will be available for incorporation into school curricula where appropriate, Malcom said, but it is intended primarily as a practical, plain language guide for parents.

“Parents need all the tools they can get” in talking to their children about alcohol, Malcom said. “You can use moral arguments, you can be preachy and that may not work. You can forbid behaviors and that may not work. This is a way of saying, ‘Let’s look at the actual impact on the body.'”

The guide was written by Aimee Stern of Stern Communications in Silver Spring, Md., with the help of an advisory board of specialists on alcohol use and abuse.

As part of her research for the guide, Stern attended a 2009 meeting of the International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous. The majority of those she met and listened to had started drinking in middle school or the first year in high school. One started drinking vanilla extract from the kitchen cabinet at age 9.

“All parents hope that their child will not be the one who gives in to alcohol and drug abuse,” Stern writes. “But as our children get older and more independent, it’s harder to keep watch and control what they do.”

Young students “generally believe that bad things happen to others and by default minimize the risk inherent in their own choices and behaviors,” said Rebecca Kullback, a licensed clinical social worker and co-founder of Metropolitan Counseling Associates in Bethesda, Md. She said the new guide provides an opportunity to teach them “about the dangers of substance use in a way that is relevant and real.”

Kullback, who was an adviser for the book project, added: “Delaying the first drink has proven to result in lower rates of substance use and abuse in teens. Helping them understand how drinking interferes with things they appreciate and respect—appearance, athletic and academic ability—will provide value to saying ‘no.'”

Parents should starting talking to their kids about alcohol and drug use as early as the fourth grade and continue through middle and high school, the book says. In schools, it notes, information about alcohol is usually taught as part of a larger curriculum dealing with sex, drugs, and sexually transmitted diseases and can receive minimal attention.

Parent also should be aware of external factors, such as advertising, music lyrics and Internet sites that can influence their children to drink. A recent YouTube search found more than 250,000 videos dealing with alcohol use, the book says, including more than 5,000 dealing with “cool” alcohol drinks.

The guide can be used as a companion to a series of Science Inside Alcohol lessons developed by AAAS (Go to http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/alcohol/index.php) or as a stand-alone tool that parents can use in talking with their children. An e-book for students will be available online soon as well.

Eat Chocolate to Lose Weight

Chocolate triflesRegular Chocolate Eaters are Thinner

Katherine Hepburn famously said of her slim physique: “What you see before you is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” New evidence suggests she may have been right.

Beatrice Golomb, and colleagues present new findings that may overturn the major objection to regular chocolate consumption: that it makes people fat. The study, showing that adults who eat chocolate on a regular basis are actually thinner that those who don’t, will be published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The authors dared to hypothesize that modest, regular chocolate consumption might be calorie-neutral –in other words, that the metabolic benefits of eating modest amounts of chocolate might lead to reduced fat deposition per calorie and approximately offset the added calories (thus rendering frequent, though modest, chocolate consumption neutral with regard to weight). To assess this hypothesis, the researchers examined dietary and other information provided by approximately 1000 adult men and women from San Diego, for whom weight and height had been measured.

The UC San Diego findings were even more favorable than the researchers conjectured. They found that adults who ate chocolate on more days a week were actually thinner – i.e. had a lower body mass index – than those who ate chocolate less often. The size of the effect was modest but the effect was “significant” –larger than could be explained by chance. This was despite the fact that those who ate chocolate more often did not eat fewer calories (they ate more), nor did they exercise more. Indeed, no differences in behaviors were identified that might explain the finding as a difference in calories taken in versus calories expended.

“Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight,” said Golomb. “In the case of chocolate, this is good news –both for those who have a regular chocolate habit, and those who may wish to start one.”

Source: University of California, San Diego Health Sciences


Alcohol-Related Deaths

ALCOHOL REPORTS: Indicator Report – Alcohol-Related Deaths.

Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to many different poor health outcomes. Chronic heavy drinking (defined as drinking more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women) contributes to a variety of alcohol-related chronic diseases, including liver cirrhosis and alcohol dependence.

Episodic heavy (or binge) drinking (defined as drinking five or more drinks on a single occasion for men and four or more drinks on a single occasion for women) contributes to a variety of alcohol-related injuries, including motor vehicle crashes, poisonings, falls, homicides, and suicides.

Full story at; Alcohol-Related Deaths.

Drinking and Risks to Men

Drinking Buddies

Image via Wikipedia

Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men’s Health

Men are more likely than women to drink excessively. Excessive drinking is associated with significant increases in short-term risks to health and safety, and the risk increases as the amount of drinking increases.

Men are also more likely than women to take other risks (e.g., drive fast or without a safety belt), when combined with excessive drinking, further increasing their risk of injury or death.

Drinking levels for men
  • Approximately 62% of adult men reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days and were more likely to binge drink than women (47%) during the same time period.
  • Men average about 12.5 binge drinking episodes per person per year, while women average about 2.7 binge drinking episodes per year.
  • Most people who binge drink are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.
  • It is estimated that about 17% of men and about 8% of women will meet criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.
Injuries and deaths as a result of excessive alcohol use
  • Men consistently have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women.
  • Among drivers in fatal motor-vehicle traffic crashes, men are almost twice as likely as women to have been intoxicated (i.e., a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater).
  • Excessive alcohol consumption increases aggression and, as a result, can increase the risk of physically assaulting another person.
  • Men are more likely than women to commit suicide, and more likely to have been drinking prior to committing suicide.
Reproductive Health and Sexual Function

Excessive alcohol use can interfere with testicular function and male hormone production resulting in impotence, infertility, and reduction of male secondary sex characteristics such as facial and chest hair.

  • Excessive alcohol use is commonly involved in sexual assault. Impaired judgment caused by alcohol may worsen the tendency of some men to mistake a women’s friendly behavior for sexual interest and misjudge their use of force.
  • Also, alcohol use by men increases the chances of engaging in risky sexual activity including unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, or sex with a partner at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon in men.

There are a number of health conditions affected by excessive alcohol use that affect both men and women.

Long-Term Health Risks

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems. These include but are not limited to—

  • Neurological problems, including dementia, stroke and neuropathy.
  • Cardiovascular problems (heart diseases), including myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and hypertension.
  • Psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide.
  • Social problems, including unemployment, lost productivity, anti-social attitudes and family problems.
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast. In general, the risk of cancer increases with increasing amounts of alcohol.
  • Liver diseases, including—
    • Alcoholic hepatitis.
    • Cirrhosis, which is among the 15 leading causes of all deaths in the United States.
    • Among persons with Hepatitis C virus, worsening of liver function and interference with medications used to treat this condition.
  • Other gastrointestinal problems, including pancreatitis and gastritis.

See also

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Drinking Idea Based on Common Sense

binge drinking Study Says Drinking with Your Kids Doesn’t Prevent Abuse

Research Summary

Dutch teens who were allowed to drink alcohol at home drank more outside the home than their peers and — along with other teens who drank — were at increased risk of developing alcohol problems, according to researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen.

The study authors tracked 428 Dutch families with two children ages 13-15. They found that teens who drank at home also drank more on their own, and vice-versa, suggesting that teen drinking begets more teen drinking regardless of setting.

"The idea is generally based on common sense,"

"The idea is generally based on common sense," said researcher Haske van der Vorst. "For example, the thinking is that if parents show good behavior — here, modest drinking — then the child will copy it. Another assumption is that parents can control their child’s drinking by drinking with the child."

“ … try to postpone the age at which their child starts drinking”

However, the study demonstrated that, "If parents want to reduce the risk that their child will become a heavy drinker or problem drinker in adolescence, they should try to postpone the age at which their child starts drinking," said van der Vorst.

The research was published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Drinking Does Not Protect Against Stroke, After All

brain stroke Long-Term Study Concludes Drinking Does Not Protect Against Stroke

Researchers who studied 22,000 men over more than two decades have concluded that drinking alcohol is not associated with either the odds of having a stroke or the severity of stroke symptoms, Reuters reported Jan. 5.

Previous, smaller studies have suggested that moderate drinking may protect against stroke, but researcher Tobias Kurth and colleagues found that the association is weak and grows even weaker over time.

The study found that very light drinkers — those who consumed just one alcoholic drink weekly — were slightly less likely to suffer strokes, but moderate drinking had no impact.

On the other hand, heavy drinking was found to raise stroke risk, said Kurth, a researcher with the French national research institute INSERM and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The findings were published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Stroke.

From Join Together

New Alcohol Guidelines Welcomed

Doctor with stethoscope around her neck uid 1272908

Nurses welcome new alcohol guidelines

The British Royal College of Nursing today (17th December 2009) welcomed the launch of new guidance for parents, children and young people on alcohol consumption, published by the Chief Medical Officer.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, said:

“Both in A&E departments and in classrooms nurses see the devastating effects alcohol is having on young people everyday – it is damaging not just their health but also their education, development and general wellbeing. It is vital that adults and children understand the serious short and long-term harm that alcohol can cause.

“We welcome the news that the Government is publishing guidance for parents and children on alcohol. However, we are calling on all political parties to repair the nation’s turbulent relationship with alcohol. We need stronger regulation of the labelling, sale and advertising of alcoholic drinks as well as widespread education campaigns. We simply cannot continue down a road where more and more children are being rushed to A&E as a result of binge drinking, and increasing numbers of people in their twenties are dying as a result of alcohol related illnesses.”

See; http://www.rcn.org.uk/

Teens & Alcohol Shops

Alcohol Shops Affect Teen Drinking

Alcohol outlets lead to specific problems among youth and young adults

Alcohol research has clearly demonstrated a connection between alcohol outlets and alcohol-related problems.

A new study focuses on the effects of alcohol outlets on underage youth and young adults.

Findings show that alcohol-related injuries among underage youth and young adults are shaped by the density and types of alcohol outlets in neighbourhoods.

Prior studies have not only demonstrated a clear connection between alcohol outlets and alcohol-related problems, they have also shown that certain types of outlets are associated with different types of problem outcomes. A new study shows that a particular group, underage youth and young adults, have specific problems – injury accidents, traffic crashes, and assaults that are related to specific types of alcohol outlets – off-premise outlets, bars and restaurants.

Results will be published in the March 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

“Over the past four decades, public health researchers have come to recognize that although most drinkers safely purchase and enjoy alcohol from alcohol outlets, these places are also associated with serious alcohol-related problems among young people and adults,” said Paul J. Gruenewald, senior research scientist at the Prevention Research Center and corresponding author for the study.

“In the early studies, researchers believed associations were due to increased alcohol consumption related to higher alcohol outlet densities,” added Richard Scribner, D’Angelo Professor of Alcohol Research at the LSU School of Public Health. “However, as the research area has matured, the relations appear to be far more complex. It seems that alcohol outlets represent an important social institution within a neighbourhood. As a result, their effects are not limited to merely the consequences of the sale of alcohol.”

For this study, researchers obtained non-public hospital discharge data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, including residential zip code and patient age for all patients discharged. Ninety-nine percent of the injury records were successfully mapped to zip codes. Population demographics, place characteristics, and data related to alcohol outlets were also collected from various sources, and modelled in relation to two age groups: underage youth between 18 and 20 years of age, and of-age young adults 21 to 29 years of age.

“Greater numbers of off-premise outlets such as take-out establishments were associated with greater injuries from accidents, assaults, and traffic crashes for both underage and of-age young adults,” said Gruenewald. “But only among of-age young adults were greater number of restaurants related to traffic crash injuries and greater numbers of bars related to assault injuries. These findings confirm previous observations that drinking at bars may be a particular risk for aggression and alcohol-related assaults while drinking at restaurants may be a particular risk for drunken driving and alcohol-related traffic crashes. The findings also confirm prior studies that indicate underage risks are uniquely associated with off-premise establishments.”

“In other words,” said Scribner, “the pattern of alcohol-related injuries among underage youth and young adults is not random; their occurrence is shaped by the density and type of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood. For example, when young adults reach the minimum legal drinking age, they begin legally drinking in bars where events such as bar fights are relatively common, and more likely when the density of bars increases. A little more complex is the strong association between an increasing density of off-premise outlets such as convenience stores and liquor stores, and higher rates of all injury outcomes among both underage youth and young adults. The authors indicate this association may be related to broader social factors where the concentration of these types of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood influences the social networks of both youth and young adults by reinforcing high-risk drinking practices. Clearly this type of research can help to develop informed policy in areas where high rates of youth injuries are considered a problem.”

The key message, said both Gruenewald and Scribner, is that a neighbourhood’s alcohol environment plays a role in regulating the risks that youth and young adults will be exposed to as they mature.

“From a prevention perspective, this represents an important refocusing of priorities, away from targeting the individual to targeting the community,” said Scribner. “This is hopeful because a community-based approach that addresses the over concentration of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood where youth injuries are a problem is relatively easy compared with interventions targeting each youth individually.”