Drinking Patterns

Regular moderate wine consumption has been associated with several health benefits in adult individuals. However, the risk increases drastically with each drink above moderation! Drinking more than what is recommended in the guidelines will not provide more benefits, only more harm. This widely accepted association is represented in the J-curve.

 

However, not only the amount but also drinking pattern is believed to be relevant when considering the health aspects of alcoholic beverages. It is better to drink moderately and regularly with the meals than to drink the same amount at a single occasion.


For example,
the data of those who drank alcoholic beverages regularly in Ireland and in France were analysed. In Ireland, beer and spirits are the preferred drinks and most alcohol tends to be consumed on the weekends whereas in France, most of the consumed alcohol comes from wine and it is drunk every day. Comparing these two different drinking cultures, only wine drinking was associated with a lower risk of heart attack and/or stroke after adjusting for confounding factors. No significant risk reduction was found for beer or other alcoholic beverages. The researchers concluded that regular moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), whereas episodic or binge drinking increases the risk.

 Drinking Pattern N.IrelandvsFrance

Furthermore, they suggest that wine associated drinking behaviour is at least as significant as wine consumption as such.


Diet

Moderate daily consumption of alcoholic beverages, mainly in the form of wine and usually with meals, is considered part of a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Growing evidence indicates that the Mediterranean diet (MD) is beneficial to human health. A MD is characterised by a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, minimally processed cereals, moderately high intake of fish, high intake of olive oil, low-to-moderate intake of dairy products, low intake of meats and a regular but moderate consumption of wine.

 

Many epidemiological and research studies have reported that this diet pattern is able to limit the development and progression of coronary heart disease, the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in both developed and developing countries worldwide. There is now a large consensus about recommending a Mediterranean diet to reduce atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease and to limit the risk of fatal complications such as sudden cardiac death and heart failure.

 

Evidence is also accumulating that wine helps to prevent the development of certain cancers (see cancer). Other studies suggest that elderly people who adhere to a Mediterranean-type diet, including moderate intake of wine and other alcoholic beverages, may be at lower risk for cognitive decline in old age. The researchers explained the effects by the wine's potential role in protecting from brain damage. Traditional Mediterranean foods may also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which is thought to be involved in Alzheimer's disease.

 

Conformity to the traditional Mediterranean diet may also be associated with lower breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women and could explain, in part, the lower incidence of this disease in Mediterranean countries.

 

Dose

Moderate drinking guidelines are set by governments, so that any potential harm to the human body is minimized and any potential benefit is maximised. Exceptions are young people, combining alcoholic drinks with certain medications, during pregnancy and with a history of addiction. Some guidelines include recommendations to drink with food, to alternate alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and ‘to pace’ drinking.

Based on available scientific evidence and different references provided by various public health authorities, it is accepted that low-risk moderate consumption ranges between the amounts set out in the guidelines below:

 

Guidelines for low risk moderate consumption:

·         Up to 2 drink units a day for women

·         Up to 3 drink units a day for men

·         No more than 4 drink units on any one occasion.

 

The above summaries provide an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND: The majority of U.S. older adults consume alcoholic beverages. The older population is projected to almost double by 2050. Substantially more drinkers are likely. PURPOSE: To describe gender-specific trends (1997 to 2014) in prevalence of drinking status (lifetime abstention, former drinking, current drinking [including average volume], and binge drinking) among U.S. adults ages 60+ by age group and birth cohort. METHODS: In the 1997 to 2014 National Health Interview Surveys, 65,303 respondents ages 60+ (31,803 men, 33,500 women) were current drinkers; 6,570 men and 1,737 women were binge drinkers. Prevalence estimates and standard errors were computed by age group (60+, 60 to 64, 65 to 69, 70 to 74, 75 to 79, 80+) and birth cohort (<1925, 1925 to…
PURPOSE: The aims of the study were to: a) examine the prevalence of energy drink (ED) and alcohol mixed with energy drink (AmED) consumption; b) investigate the relationships between ED and AmED with alcohol, binge drinking and drugs accounting for at risk behaviors among a representative sample of Italian adolescents. METHODS: A representative sample of 30,588 Italian high school students, aged 15-19years, was studied. Binary and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the independent association of the potential predictors' characteristics with the ED and AmED drinking during the last year. RESULTS: Respectively 41.4% and 23.2% of respondents reported drinking EDs and AmEDs in the last year. Multivariate analysis revealed that consumption of EDs and AmEDs during the last…
OBJECTIVE: The present study is a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) and injury. The study provides a summary and critical analysis of the current literature. METHOD: The review was conducted using PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews. Studies included in the review were those that quantified the relationship between AmED use and injury risk relative to alcohol only. Records were considered along the following theme areas: controlled for drinking behaviors, controlled for impulsivity or risk-taking propensity, examined sex differences, and self-reported injury outcomes for (a) AmED versus alcohol consumers and (b) AmED versus alcohol sessions. RESULTS: The results support the association between AmED and increased risk of injury; however, substantial variability…
OBJECTIVE: Evidence on the impact of legislative changes on individual alcohol consumption is limited. Using an observational study design, we assessed trends in individual alcohol consumption of a Swiss adult population following the public policy changes that took place between 1993 and 2014, while considering individual characteristics and secular trends. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Swiss general adult population. PARTICIPANTS: Data from 18 963 participants were collected between 1993 and 2014 (aged 18-75 years). OUTCOME MEASURES: We used data from the 'Bus Sante' study, an annual health survey conducted in random samples of the adult population in the State of Geneva, Switzerland. Individual alcohol intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Individual characteristics including education were self-reported. 7 policy…
The quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption are crucial both in risk assessment as well as epidemiological and clinical research. Using the Munich Composite International Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI), drinking amounts have been assessed in numerous large-scale studies. However, the accuracy of this assessment has rarely been evaluated. This study evaluates the relevance of drink categories and pouring sizes, and the factors used to convert actual drinks into standard drinks. We compare the M-CIDI to alternative drink assessment instruments and empirically validate drink categories using a general population sample (n = 3165 from Germany), primary care samples (n = 322 from Italy, n = 1189 from Germany), and a non-representative set of k = 22503 alcoholic beverages sold in Germany in…

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