After reading this article on the BBC News it made me think about what I actually drink in a normal week? Well in the last 7 days I have had the following to drink and I have used this link to work out the units:
½ x bottle of Wine (one evening) - 4.5
2 x Pints of Lager (one evening) - 4.6
4 x Pints of Lager (during the rugby) - 9.2
With a weekly limit of 21 that means I am able to have another pint and that is it. My poor old wife is already over her limit of 14 by two pints. I suppose I could meet the wife from work and have 2 pints in front of her, but that would be unfair and slightly cruel.
The good news is the above numbers are a pretty real reflection of an average week for me. It has been over a month since I last had a glass of wine before this, but that balances out slightly because I may have 4 pints during the week instead of just 2.
Of course this goes into chaos during nights out or on holidays, but alas these are few and far between. I think the wife and I managed to drink 26 bottles of wine in 10 days during Christmas, but we were in France. C’est le vie!
I know there is a disjoint between what alcohol is sold and what people say they drink and the article tries to explain this. However there could be a number of other reasons for this:
1. People know what the guidelines are and if they have more than the daily amount, effectively 2 pints, they could be categorised as being a binge drinker and verging on being an alcoholic. Who wants to have that label?
2. Another major problem is that people forget how much they have drank, especially on a night out. While having a fun night out with friends, you don’t try and monitor what drinks you had where. Sometimes if you are buying rounds, you may not always know what you have had.
3. Some people drink to mask their stresses and problems. If they reveal how much they drink then they are admitting to themselves they are drinking to hide another issue, so again they will lie.
4. A few people will be alcoholics, who refuse to admit it, and will either not care how much they drink or do not remember.
Whilst writing this I did think of another reason why the gap between sales and acknowledged consumption could be even bigger. It is impossible to calculate how much duty free alcohol is brought back into the country from trips away. I know I brought back a couple of bottles of wine with me when I came back from France. We have all heard of the ‘Booze Runs’ people do. Taking this into account means that our drinking culture is even higher than what we think.
No wonder the average person is getting more unhealthy and obese. We drink too much, eat too much fast food and do not do enough exercise, and in the last year I know I am guilty of this. There is a fine line between enjoying yourself and looking after yourself. Why oh why does a pint and a burger have to be bad for you? Why couldn’t celery and Tonic Water be bad for you instead. The injustice of it.