Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Tim York » Sat May 28, 2011 4:11 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Bob Henrick wrote:My point is that at 72 years of age and given the life span of an American male is 75 years and 2 months,

You might have a few more years left than that, Bob! :lol:

That's the average life span of an American infant at birth. At 72, you've got an average expectation of 12 more years to enjoy your wine.

Try this calculator - pull the bar at the upper left over to your current age to come up with the details:
http://life-span.findthebest.com/

All that said, I expect that over-indulgence in wine or food could put a finger on the scales as far as mortality (and more important, overall health) is concerned; and of course, none of us know the day or the hour that we'll pass on - we might win or lose against the averages. But if you're trying to play the odds, at your age you're looking at 12 more years, not just 3 more years. :)


Another, perhaps taboo, factor in life expectation is socioeconomic category http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/4/969.full . There have been similar studies and conclusions in the UK and probably elsewhere. I guess that most people on this and similar boards fall into the more privileged category with longer life expectation. Mostly healthier life styles of the more privileged as well as access to better medical care help to explain these disparities.

This brings me back to the Public Health ayatollahs. They most probably feel that there has to be one life style message to fit all sizes and that means a simple message which tends blanket demonization of smoking (rightly there IMO) as well as of alcohol, animal fats and sugar where the truth is much more subtle. An additional background factor in the demonization of alcohol is the short term ugly side of excess such drunken brawling, road accidents and broken families, but that is no reason IMO to exaggerate the longer term health problems.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Lou Kessler » Sat May 28, 2011 4:36 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:
Lou Kessler wrote: I'm with you Bob except I don't chase women because I'm afraid I might catch one. Then what would I do? :roll:
Given the price of renting a golf cart Lou, I suppose she could carry your clubs for you! :roll:

I had thought of that Bob and I sorta hinted it to my wife and all I got as an answer was an obscene gesture.
Hell Robin is right, figure on the maximum time to live and if you happen to be wrong you wouldn't know the difference anyhow. Now if you're alive and run out of decent wine to drink that's a tragedy.That's my philosophy.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat May 28, 2011 8:42 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:I had thought of that Bob and I sorta hinted it to my wife and all I got as an answer was an obscene gesture.
Hell Robin is right, figure on the maximum time to live and if you happen to be wrong you wouldn't know the difference anyhow. Now if you're alive and run out of decent wine to drink that's a tragedy.That's my philosophy.


You are my kind of guy Lou! Even if you are older than me! :lol:
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Paul Rainbow » Sat May 28, 2011 11:49 pm

Because "Rethinking Drinking" comes from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it naturally addresses problem drinking. Given this orientation, the information it offers, which takes into consideration people's age, patterns of use, body weight, etc., is truthful, nuanced, and fair.

I discovered wine late in life, at age 54, after being raised by teetotalers. My father, a high school principal, observed that parental abuse of alcohol was a contributing cause in virtually every educational challenge they faced at the school, and banned it from our home. My current enjoyment of wine grew slowly.

One defining moment was in 1985/6. While studying at Oxford I gave a dinner to which a friend from Italy kindly brought a bottle of Riesling. With my background, my guests had a job to persuade this reluctant host to wet my tongue. But I was pleasantly surprised by its piquant fruitiness. Subsequently my wife and I would share an occasional glass in a restaurant--twice or thrice per year on birthdays or anniversaries. The next key moment, in May of 2010, was a fortuitous pairing (pork sausage cabbage roll with a French Cabernet Sauvignon) in a Sioux Falls restaurant with an eastern European chef. After that I started experimenting with varietal wines and foods in earnest.

All of which is to say that I came to wine under European influence where the emphasis lies more on its gustatory value than its alcoholic punch. No less a pro-wine authority than the Oxford Companion to Wine can state, "Because wine contains alcohol and alcohol is a poison, it is wise to monitor personal wine consumption" (1994 ed.; "Health, Effects of wine consumption on," p. 486). Therefore I've set myself some parameters that I think are reasonable: (1) a small glass (100 - 125 ml) (2) of a food-friendly wine (3) once a day, usually at the evening meal, (4) sipped slowly (5) with the food, (6) in the company of family or friends, (7) accompanied by an equal or greater amount of water in the hour or so surrounding the meal. I can't imagine how my enjoyment would be enhanced by using more wine or by doing so in other circumstances.

Here in America with our different social history, society is more polarized over alcohol use, between those who binge and those who suppose the solution is to prohibit. In this environment, I hear "Rethinking Drinking" as a cogent voice inviting many to take an honest inventory of themselves and apply brakes where needed. Candid answers in some online wine forums to the question "How much do you drink?" suggest there is indeed a need for such an admonition.

But I would also question the apparent assumption that everyone who drinks wine is looking for a buzz, leans on it as a crutch, or even wants to relax. To be sure, to use wine, or any other beverage containing alcohol, without an awareness of the potential for devastation, or without making oneself accountable for observing some safeguards, would be foolhardy. Yet any medicine, toxic in overdose, is beneficial when measured appropriately. In the last year my digestion and appetite have improved and my cholesterol has fallen into safe territory. Above all, my chief reason for exploring wine is its exquisite flavors in the context of the table. The Middle Way that has been in place for millennia in the old cultures that first cultivated the vine has much to be said for it.
Last edited by Paul Rainbow on Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Suzanne SW » Sun May 29, 2011 12:52 am

Paul’s got it right. Any critique of drinking habits needs to take account not only of the alcohol and caloric amounts but also of the reason for drinking. Drinking to relax—7/week for women, 14 for men is probably the most one should ingest. Drinking to get a buzz—don’t. But drinking to enjoy flavors of the wine and to enhance flavors of the food is entirely different. If we do it as gently as Paul suggests, there should be little, if any, negative effect. It may be of some interest that when an alcoholic stops drinking he/she often craves a greatly increased intake of pie, cake, ice cream and candy. And those aren’t good for us, either but there is no national institute telling us so.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Bob Henrick » Sun May 29, 2011 9:26 am

Welcome to our newcomers Paul, and Suzzanne.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Tim York » Sun May 29, 2011 1:22 pm

Paul Rainbow wrote:But I would also question the apparent assumption that everyone who drinks wine is looking for a buzz, leans on it as a crutch, or even wants to relax. To be sure, to use wine, or any other beverage containing alcohol, without an awareness of the potential for devastation, or without making oneself accountable for observing some safeguards, would be foolhardy. Yet any medicine, toxic in overdose, is beneficial when measured appropriately. In the last year my digestion and appetite have improved and my cholesterol has fallen into safe territory. Above all, my chief reason for exploring wine is its exquisite flavors in the context of the table. The Middle Way that has been in place for millennia in the old cultures that first cultivated the vine has much to be said for it.


That is very nicely expressed, Paul.

Coming from a different place from you (I've been drinking wine for over 50 years), I am comfortable with more than one small glass per day but do not deviate much from the British recommended limit of 21 units per week (a British unit is 125ml of 12% wine, smaller than the US one, I think. Indeed about a decade ago the British government recommendation was up to 28 units a week for men but they got a lot of flack about that :( )
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Bob Henrick » Sun May 29, 2011 1:43 pm

Those who drink one or two glasses of wine per day, pour a hell of a lot of wine down the sink! even if we drink cheap plonk that would get expensive. A 750ml bottle has close to 25oz of wine which is 5 5oz pours and even if one keeps it for tomorrow a lot of wine goes down the drain over a course of a year. I am retired and have to maximize my resources. :P
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun May 29, 2011 2:09 pm

Welcome to the forum, Paul and Suzanne! I'm glad this article drew you both to the forum, and I hope you'll enjoy our conversations enough to stay around.

Paul, you're not by any chance a New Testament scholar, are you? I think I may have read an article by a Paul Rainbow in an assignment once ...
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Paul Rainbow » Sun May 29, 2011 4:21 pm

Yes, Robin, I am. One thing I had to overcome in learning to appreciate wine was the specious argument, used quite sincerely by prohibitionists like my father (bless him!) and many others, that the Greek oinos found again and again in the Bible really means "fruit of the vine," i.e., grape juice, and not fermented wine. But it's hard to get around the technical terminology of a phrase like "wine on the lees well refined" (Isaiah 25:6), which will be on offer at the apocalyptic feast; or the possibility that inflexible old wine skins might burst if filled with new wine--from the carbon dioxide produced by fermentation (Matthew 9:17); or the steward's knowledge of common practice at first-century Palestinian wedding feasts: "Everyone serves the good wine first; and when people have drunk freely [Greek methysko, "begun to be inebrious"], then the poor wine; but"--after Jesus had turned water into wine behind the scene--"you [the host] have kept the good wine until now" (John 2:10); or Paul's advice to Timothy to "use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments" (1 Timothy 5:23).

So I conclude that the moral opposite of abusing alcohol is proper use, not avoidance; even as society doesn't proscribe the selling and lighting of matches, merely because recklessness can start a forest fire.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun May 29, 2011 4:26 pm

Paul Rainbow wrote:So I conclude that the moral opposite of abusing alcohol is proper use, not avoidance; even as society doesn't proscribe the selling and lighting of matches, merely because recklessness can start a forest fire.

Excellent! My favorite verse from Timothy, a pastoral epistle with some other verses a little harder to bring into conversation with modern times. Nice to meet you, Paul. I'll have to dig out my folders from that class and try to figure out what exactly we read ... I'm pretty sure something of yours is in there with Marcus Borg and Luke Timothy Johnson and Dale B. Martin and a few others ...
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby AlexR » Sun May 29, 2011 4:36 pm

Robin,

You're right there in the Bible Belt.

Must not be easy to convince people that moderate consumption is not the work of Lucifer...


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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Paul Rainbow » Sun May 29, 2011 4:38 pm

Yes, Tim York. There's room for some variation in the setting of personal limits. I realize I'm on the cautious end of the spectrum. I would only urge that people on the other end, who "hold their alcohol well," are probably in greater danger of having dependence steal up on them from behind. But of course you're the best judge of what's right for you.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby AlexR » Sun May 29, 2011 4:47 pm

Isaiah 22:13

"Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die".

We all gotta go sometime, so may as well enjoy ourselves, because we only go around once...

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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Bob Henrick » Sun May 29, 2011 4:52 pm

AlexR wrote:Robin,

You're right there in the Bible Belt.

Must not be easy to convince people that moderate consumption is not the work of Lucifer...


Alex R.


Alex, did you mean to say even moderate........?
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun May 29, 2011 4:59 pm

AlexR wrote:Robin,

You're right there in the Bible Belt.

Must not be easy to convince people that moderate consumption is not the work of Lucifer...

Alex, Louisville is not like that. <wink>
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby AlexR » Sun May 29, 2011 5:00 pm

I'm not always moderate and few of my wine-loving friends are always moderate either.

Not puritans or saints.

Therefore, I would refute a comment made above in this thread that it is all about taste and nothing to do with the buzz.
Because dissociating the buzz from the taste, or the taste from the buzz is impossible.
And somewhat hypocritical IMHO.

Life is to be grabbed by the (expletive deleted) and enjoyed...
For Chrissakes, if I have 4 glasses of wine a day instead of 2 and live 5.12 months less for that, so what?

Best regards,
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Hoke » Sun May 29, 2011 6:12 pm

life is to be grabbed by the (expletive deleted) and enjoyed...


Which provides us with a rather bizarre vision of how you enjoy your Bordeaux, Alex. :oops: :wink:
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun May 29, 2011 6:46 pm

Hoke wrote:Which provides us with a rather bizarre vision of how you enjoy your Bordeaux, Alex. :oops: :wink:

Oh, I think Alex makes it quite clear how he enjoys his Bordeaux. ;)
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Hoke » Sun May 29, 2011 10:22 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Paul Rainbow wrote:So I conclude that the moral opposite of abusing alcohol is proper use, not avoidance; even as society doesn't proscribe the selling and lighting of matches, merely because recklessness can start a forest fire.

Excellent! My favorite verse from Timothy, a pastoral epistle with some other verses a little harder to bring into conversation with modern times. Nice to meet you, Paul. I'll have to dig out my folders from that class and try to figure out what exactly we read ... I'm pretty sure something of yours is in there with Marcus Borg and Luke Timothy Johnson and Dale B. Martin and a few others ...



Robin/Paul: If you're interested in pursuing this line of thought, rather than subject people who might not be, I'd like to take this to to the Friends and Fun Forum of this site.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun May 29, 2011 10:37 pm

Hoke wrote:Robin/Paul: If you're interested in pursuing this line of thought, rather than subject people who might not be, I'd like to take this to to the Friends and Fun Forum of this site.

Sure, Hoke, post on! (Paul will have to decide for himself - he may not care to talk shop when he's off duty.)
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Tim York » Mon May 30, 2011 6:22 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Hoke wrote:Robin/Paul: If you're interested in pursuing this line of thought, rather than subject people who might not be, I'd like to take this to to the Friends and Fun Forum of this site.

Sure, Hoke, post on! (Paul will have to decide for himself - he may not care to talk shop when he's off duty.)


A few years ago, someone, maybe you Robin, posted a link to a fascinating article on wine in the Bible, including attitudes to intoxication, which didn't seem very different from those prevalent in Mediterranean countries to this day. Do you remember it?

I would come as a surprise to most people this side of the Atlantic to learn that οἶνος only meant unfermented grape juice :shock: .
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Nigel Groundwater » Mon May 30, 2011 3:54 pm

Florida Jim wrote:For purposes of this discussion, let's just assume that the article has a slant and that we can pick it apart all day long.

We still drink too much.

Not all of us, of course, but I see it often enough to know its true.
But here's where I'm with Steve - pick your poison.

I also see a good number of folks at any age eating McDonalds - and one in three Americans is obese. Yeah, obese - not fat or over weight but obese.

How many folks have chosen Scotch as their evening's entertainment?

How many work ridiculous hours under stress that would make any other mammal fall down and go boom?

Drive too fast? Have unprotected sex? Go looking for a fight? Watch too much TV?

Nobody gets out of here alive.
Do what you do, try not to hurt anybody else, give your excesses some thought if you can and please, quit the holier than thou crap.

Oh yes; and buy the motorcycle if you can afford it.
Best, Jim

Oh yes and all this applies here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe too - although, unlike here, some stats in Europe are at least moving in the right direction.

Of course personal consumption needs to be qualified by the individual: their size, gender, general state of health, fitness, medication intake etc and how and with what they consume alcohol but the stats [alcohol related liver disease in particular] show that an increasing number of people of both sexes , from an already substantial base, are drinking more than is healthy and in an also increasing number, much more than is healthy.
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Re: Feds ask: Do Baby Boomers drink too much?

Postby Hoke » Mon May 30, 2011 4:38 pm

but the stats [alcohol related liver disease in particular] show that an increasing number of people of both sexes , from an already substantial base, are drinking more than is healthy and in an also increasing number, much more than is healthy.


This of course conforms to the bureaucratic tendency to always apply a shotgun approach when precision marksmanship may be more appropriate, Nigel. :?
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