Am I Drinking Too Much?


As we’ve mentioned previously, every day for the past 12 months we’ve been diligently recording our booze and coffee intake. The initial logic was to see if there was any correlation between intake of alcohol and recuperative caffeine, a shift between beer and wine maybe, seasonal trends in spirit types or overall spikes and peaks from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Day…

On the one hand it’s an exercise in personal behavioural-observation (for example, we consume an average of 2.6 alcoholic drinks per day). But on the other, it’s also an insightful first step in an ongoing investigation of just how we drink today.

At this very moment, we’re already sobering up our design monkey to begin the process of trend extraction, correlation and data visualization. But in the meantime, food writer Rose Prince recently published this article in The Telegraph about the communication between health professionals and we-who-love-a-dram-or-two, complete with conflictive medical stats and a qualitative defence of her own position.

While we urge you to read the article in its entirity (and indeed her heated Radio 4 debate with GP Sarah Jarvis that brought it to our attention), here are a few of the juicier bits:

But wine lovers like us are frowned upon. Health experts have labelled us “the silent majority”. Last year, the think tank 2020health warned that millions of middle-class drinkers are harming themselves “behind closed doors’’. “They may be professionals, students, parents – even GPs themselves,” it said, somehow making us all sound like brothel-keepers or worse. 

… By all current assessment, that makes me a raging social alcoholic and groups me with the girl in the purple miniskirt and white court shoes, splayed face down on the pavement outside a pub in central Manchester on a Friday night. But I credit myself with a more sophisticated approach to my drinking, something akin to Madame Bollinger’s to champagne: ‘I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad,’ she said ‘Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.’Source: The Telegraph