Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Harmful Middle Class Drinking

According to the Guardian, the middle-aged, middle class like a drink too. Of course this gets a respectable appellation: "habitual wine-drinker". You know, nothing as sordid as "binge drinker".

The habitual-wine drinker is endangering his health by drinking between 22 and 50 units of alcohol per week, which, assuming 8 units per bottle works, out at somewhere between 2 and 7 bottles per week. Or a glass while cooking, a glass or two with dinner and a couple more while watching TV or whatever. The sort of innocuous drinking that only the strictly teetotal, headline seeking doctors and maybe your mother would comment upon.

There are, of course, other problems with drinking, but if we look at the health problems purely in terms of related deaths then National Statistics Online say that there are roughly 8,000 alcohol related deaths each year across all age groups. Over double the number of fatalities in road accidents, but way, way behind the 106,000 attributed to smoking. Shockingly it's pretty similar to the number of deaths, 5,000 to 20,000 depending, caused by hospital-acquired infections. Physician, clean thyself, or at least pay the cleaners a decent wage.

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