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.

 

 

 

 

PURPOSE: Heavy episodic (i.e., "binge") drinking (i.e., >/=five drinks/occasion) is highly prevalent among young adults; those who binge do so four times per month on average, consuming nine drinks on average on each occasion. Although it is well established that chronic heavy drinking (>/=two alcoholic beverages per day) increases the risk of hypertension, the relationship between binge drinking and blood pressure is not well described. Our aim was to describe the relationship between frequency of binge drinking, both current (at age 24 years) and past (at age 20 years), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at age 24 years. METHODS: Participants (n = 756) from the longitudinal Nicotine Dependence in Teens study reported alcohol consumption at ages 20 and 24 years…
BACKGROUND: Drinking in youth is linked to other risky behaviours, educational failure and premature death. Prior research has examined drinking in mid and late teenagers, but little is known about the factors that influence drinking at the beginning of adolescence. Objectives were: 1. to assess associations of parental and friends' drinking with reported drinking among 11 year olds; 2. to investigate the roles of perceptions of harm, expectancies towards alcohol, parental supervision and family relationships on reported drinking among 11 year olds. METHODS: Analysis of data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study on 10498 11-year-olds. The outcome measure was having drank an alcoholic drink, self-reported by cohort members. RESULTS: 13.6 % of 11 year olds reported having drank. Estimates reported…
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological research on alcohol-related harm has long given priority to studies on harm to the drinker. A limitation with this perspective is that it neglects the harm drinking causes to people around the drinker, and thus, it fails to give a full picture of alcohol-related harm in society. AIM: The aim was to compare the prevalence and correlates of experiencing harm from the heavy drinking by family and friends across the Nordic countries and Scotland and to discuss whether potential differences match levels of drinking, prevalence of binge drinking, and alcohol-related mortality. DATA AND METHOD: Data from recent national general population surveys with similar questions on experiences of harms from the drinking of family and friends were collected from…
BACKGROUND: Parents are a major supplier of alcohol to adolescents, often initiating use with sips. Despite harms of adolescent alcohol use, research has not addressed the antecedents of such parental supply. This study investigated the prospective associations between familial, parental, peer, and adolescent characteristics on parental supply of sips. METHODS: Participants were 1729 parent-child dyads recruited from Grade 7 classes, as part of the Australian Parental Supply of Alcohol Longitudinal Study. Data are from baseline surveys (Time 1) and 1-year follow-up (Time 2). Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regressions tested prospective associations between Time 1 familial, parental, peer, and adolescent characteristics and Time 2 parental supply. RESULTS: In the fully adjusted model, parental supply was associated with increased parent-report of peer…
BACKGROUND: Studies conducted on characteristics of binge drinking and associated behaviours in college student populations are scarce especially in France. Hence, it is important to identify risk factors for binge drinking at university, especially those which may be changed. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of binge drinking and associated behaviours across a large sample of college students in Upper Normandy (France). METHODS: A cross sectional study was performed between November 2009 and February 2013 and data on socioeconomic characteristics and behavioural risk factors were collected: alcohol (consumption and misuse of alcohol, occasional and frequent binge drinking), tobacco, cannabis, cyberaddiction, stress and depression. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was filled out by college student volunteers from Upper…

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