Drinking & Eating 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.

 

 

 

 

AIMS: It is generally accepted, but not yet documented that the risk of future alcoholism increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. The objective of this study was to investigate this association using the Copenhagen City Heart Study. METHODS: Quantity and frequency of alcohol intake was measured in 19 698 men and women randomly drawn from the Copenhagen Population Register in 1976-78. The study population was linked to three different registers in order to detect alcoholism, and average follow-up time was 25 years. RESULTS: After adjustment for all putative confounders, the risk of alcoholism for women increased significantly at 1-7 drinks per week with a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.02 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16, 3.53) compared to never/almost never…
Objectives. We examined the relationship between 4 low-risk behaviors-never smoked, healthy diet, adequate physical activity, and moderate alcohol consumption-and mortality in a representative sample of people in the United States. Methods. We used data from 16958 participants aged 17 years and older in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study from 1988 to 2006. Results. The number of low-risk behaviors was inversely related to the risk for mortality. Compared with participants who had no low-risk behaviors, those who had all 4 experienced reduced all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR]=0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.28, 0.49), mortality from malignant neoplasms (AHR=0.34; 95% CI=0.20, 0.56), major cardiovascular disease (AHR=0.35; 95% CI=0.24, 0.50), and other causes (AHR=0.43; 95% CI=0.25, 0.74). The…
AIM: To review the international literature concerning pre-loading (PL); this is drinking before going out to pubs and bars. METHOD: A literature review conducted in May 2013 using the EBSCO database entering the following search terms 'pre-loading', 'front-loading', 'pre-partying' and 'pre-drinking'. Thereafter, the reference lists were checked for further relevant articles. The review consisted of 40 articles of which 11 were excluded because PL was not the primary unit of analysis or they did not fulfil a quality assurance criterion. RESULTS: Despite being an internationally widespread development to date, most of the research on this has been from the USA and UK. The majority of US studies have been concerned with PL in a college and high school setting, while…
Moderate wine consumption is compatible with a healthy lifestyle and can provide enjoyment and health benefits for many wine drinkers. A minority of consumers, however, misuses alcoholic beverages in a way that is associated with serious harm. The WINE in MODERATION (WIM) program aims to promote a responsible wine drinking pattern and is the wine sector's commitment to the EU Strategy to reduce alcohol related harm. With the German example, a national implementation as well as the interim results of the monitoring commitment during the first two years of the campaign will be presented.
AIMS: To investigate whether recorded alcohol per capita consumption of adults could be linked with alcohol drinking and smoking among adolescents. METHODS: Adult alcohol per capita has been plotted graphically together with the prevalence of current drinking and smoking among adolescents. RESULTS: Across all 68 countries, a highly statistically significant correlation was detected, indicating a linear relationship. CONCLUSION: Countries which are high in alcohol per capita consumption among adults need to pay heightened attention to alcohol and tobacco use among the younger population.
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