Health - what is the recommended alcohol intake?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by BobbY, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. BobbY

    BobbY Newbie

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    We're currently learning about alcohol at uni, and in a quiz I came up across a question;
    What do you believe to be the recommended intake of alcoholic drinks for adult males and females per week.

    MALES
    10<
    11-14
    15-18
    19-25

    FEMALES
    5-8
    9-12
    14-17
    18-22

    Out of curiosity, what would be the correct answer for either. I thought it would be maybe 10< for males and 5-8 for females?
     
  2. BobbY

    BobbY Newbie

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    Also, would anyone have any articles on parents allowing their children to consume alcohol. I believe parents do allow their children to drink alcohol, however, I cannot find any research to help back my claims up :(

    Thank you.
     
  3. matti_2003

    matti_2003 Gold Member

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    Depends on what the drink is. A half of weak beer has less alcohol than a double vodka and coke. In the UK alcohol consumption is measured in "Units". Details can be found below


    What are the recommended limits of alcohol drinking?

    * Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week (and no more than four units in any one day).
    * Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (and no more than three units in any one day).
    * Pregnant women. If you have one or two drinks of alcohol (one or two units), once or twice a week, it is unlikely to harm your unborn baby. However, the exact amount that is safe is not known. So, many women have little or no alcohol when they are pregnant.

    The more you drink above these limits, the greater the risk of developing serious problems such as liver disease. (See separate leaflet called 'Alcohol and Sensible Drinking' for details.)

    What is a unit of alcohol?

    One unit of alcohol is 10 ml (1 cl) by volume, or 8 g by weight, of pure alcohol. For example:

    * One unit of alcohol is about equal to:
    o Half a pint of ordinary strength beer, lager, or cider (3–4% alcohol by volume), or
    o A small pub measure (25 ml) of spirits (40% alcohol by volume), or
    o A standard pub measure (50 ml) of fortified wine such as sherry or port (20% alcohol by volume).
    * There are one and a half units of alcohol in:
    o A small glass (125 ml) of ordinary strength wine (12% alcohol by volume), or
    o A standard pub measure (35 ml) of spirits (40% alcohol by volume).

    A more accurate way of calculating units is as follows. The percentage alcohol by volume (%abv) of any drink equals the number of units in one litre of that drink. For example:

    * Strong beer at 6% abv has six units in one litre. If you drink half a litre (500 ml) - just under a pint - then you have had three units.
    * Wine at 12% abv has 12 units in one litre. If you drink a quarter of a litre (250 ml) - two small glasses, then you have had three units.

    Some other examples
    Three pints of beer, three times per week, is at least 18 units per week. That is nearly the upper weekly safe limit for a man. However, each drinking session of three pints is at least six units, which is more than the safe limit advised for any one day. Another example: a 750 ml bottle of 12% wine contains nine units. If you drink two bottles of 12% wine over a week, that is 18 units. This is above the upper safe limit for a woman.

    Source http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/23069189/
     
    1. 5/5,
      Helpful post, thanks
      Oct 1, 2006
  4. BobbY

    BobbY Newbie

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    Yep, that is why I am confused. I have looked over the net and found some 21 units per week for men and 14 for women, and have done a test where a woman consumes 2 beers each day for a week and has 14 units in comparison to 2 cocktails each day for a week and she ended up with 28 units.

    So, is that question they asked me completely wrong? They trying to confuse us, or would they mean standard drinks?
     
  5. matti_2003

    matti_2003 Gold Member

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    Well all drinks come in different strengths and sizes so you need to work out a way of getting the amount of alcohol taken. Thats why units are used as a standard measure. For any tests you do to be accurate you need to measure the actual alcohol consumed not just the number of drinks taken because they all contain different amounts of alcohol.

    One unit is 10ml of pure alcohol so to work out the units for a 500ml can of 5% beer you would take 5% of 500 which is 25ml of pure alcohol so the number of units is 2.5.
     
  6. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold Member

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    Although I don't consider himself a very heavy drinker, certainly not by Irish standards, according to the recommended unit intake, he's bordering on being an alcoholic. Every social event in Ireland involves drinking however, whether it be in the pub or at a friend's house. It's unavoidable in a sense.

    As for this information, it's pretty well known that many parents will allow their children (usually in their teens) to drink small amounts of alcohol at home. It's responsible in a way. If one had never drank alcohol before the legal age and decided to go and get tanked in a pub for the first time, they could easily have a very adverse reaction. I don't know of any documented official facts about parents allowing children to drink though.
     
  7. matti_2003

    matti_2003 Gold Member

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    I agree with that Nature Boy I think that the recommeded guidelines are very low. Even if he just has a very quiet week in and not getting drunk at all he has double the recommended.
     
  8. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold Member

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    I suppose it's another one of those botched general guidelines, like BMI (Body Mass Index) or something. It caters for the average, standard person, but probably doesn't account for various unusual physiques or in this case, various drinking habits. I do agree that the limits they impose are quite low but it's based on very calculated study. Perhaps if one was wishing to stay completely healthy, they would adhere to the guidelines, much like cutting back on salt, butter, sugar etc. in order to be 100% healthy, but I don't think many people will be concerned by the recommend daily alcohol intake guidelines.
     
  9. fatmanstan

    fatmanstan Titanium Member

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    In Canada, also known for our love of fermented hops (goes great with hockey, eh), Health Canada's recommended intake is 2 standard units per day for males. Not sure if there's age catagories or not. This is also on the low end, I feel.

    If you look at the stats for what is considered "binge drinking" (in Canada at least), just about everyone I know has a serious problem ;)
     
  10. Senor Gribson

    Senor Gribson Titanium Member

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    alcohol has a recommended daily intake? i always thought it to be zero...
    heh beer should come with one of those % of recommended daily intake charts;
    carbohydrates - ___%
    alcohol - ___%
     
  11. matti_2003

    matti_2003 Gold Member

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    Alcohol in small doses is actually good for you.
     
  12. Sickman

    Sickman Silver Member

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    This is really only true in VERY small doses -- like one drink or less per day.
    After 2-3 drinks the negative physiological effects of alcohol far outweigh any beneficial ones.
     
  13. chilliker

    chilliker Silver Member

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    for me my alcohol of choice is 80 proof rum... my intake is 3 to 4 days a week sometimes 5 days a week drinking about o.5 liters of rum each time...
     
  14. BobbY

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    So is there a recommended intake of standard drinks for males and females per week?
     
  15. Jatelka

    Jatelka Psychedelic Shepherdess Platinum Member & Advisor

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  16. BobbY

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    Ye I found for Australia, my country, it was 28 drinks per week for maels, and 21 for females. How could this be true, isnt consuming this much dangerous?
     
  17. chilliker

    chilliker Silver Member

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    Well that isnt that much really... It depends what you count as a drink is it beer or some liqour... The common amout of liqour per drink is about 4 fl. oz. and that would make 112 fl. oz. per week for males which is about 3.3 liters a week. That is about right im guessing... Atleast for SWIM... If its soft drinks now thats another thing... SWIM drinks 3.3 liter of beer in one night...
     
  18. Senor Gribson

    Senor Gribson Titanium Member

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    usually a drink means either 1 beer or 1 shot, and 3.3L of beer has more liquor than 16 fl.oz of 40% spirits...
     
  19. chilliker

    chilliker Silver Member

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    In SWIM's opinion a drink is not a shot glass, since there are shot glass of all sizes. A drink should be 4 fl. oz. anything less then that is to soft IN SWIM's OPINION (he is also taking the guidlines of where he lives, which is is Dominican Republic) Also a bottle of beer where I live has 12 fl. oz. and to drink 3.3 liters it would be to drink from 9 to 10 beers. So yeah I do drink about 3.3 liters of beer in one night. Also 16 fl. oz. of 40% spirit is not all that much alcohol for SWIM that is about what he normally drinks when he dosn't want to get wasted.
     
  20. Mona Lisa

    Mona Lisa Gold Member

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    fourteen units for a women/ twenty one units for men is a very conservative estimate. It's an ideal figure to try to stay under but I would imagine that most people could probably drink up to double (or certainly 50% more) than this per week and still be OK, generally. It's just an ideal they're recommending.

    But as others have been saying here, real life is not like that. There is a strong drinking culture in Britain and even more so in places like Ireland, Australia and Russia. It's hard to be completely sociable without drinking at least occassionally. It's about not letting it take over your life, and if you sometimes drink too much, to try and cut back for several days to allow time to recover.