Tuesday, 24 November 2009

I am a binge drinker

At Offsetting Behaviour Eric Crampton reports
According to Barry Jackson (Radio NZ interview), if you've consumed 5 standard drinks in one day anytime in the last month (4 for women), you're a light binge drinker. If you've done it once in the last two weeks, you're a moderate binge drinker.

The pint of Emerson's JP I had the other night was 3.3 standard drinks. Combine that with a pint of anything else, and you've just had a binge drinking session.
Well Eric isn't the only "light binge drinker". Last weekend I went down to Timaru to see a friend and on Friday night enjoyed a bottle of the 2006 vintage Ata Rangi Pinot Noir. Now, from memory a bottle of wine is well over 5 standard drinks, nearer 7-8. This means that my very enjoyable evening was a binge drinking session! Not that I had noticed.

If drinking a bottle of wine is binge drinking, then given the amount of wine dunk in this country, New Zealand really must have a huge binge drinking problem! Either that or Jackson needs to revisit his definition of "binge drinking".

Eric goes on to say,
He [Jackson] lauds the American system where drunk in public is a criminal offense and where having an alcohol conviction can mean you're forbidden from practicing in any of some 40 different professions requiring registration.
Again if drinking a bottle of wine can get you banded from practising in any of 40 different professions, one wonders how many people there would be left in our professions.

Eric also goes on to
[...] wonder how long 'till he starts pushing for legislation against "drunk at home" as well...
Indeed. The wowsers really are coming out of the woodwork.


bk drinkwater said...

Good God!

It sounds like the entire economics faculty at Canterbury is on a drunken rampage. Someone really ought to attempt a tabulation of the resulting social costs.

Paul Walker said...

Economists know how to maximise utility!

bk drinkwater said...

Of course, we're forgetting the most important issue here: what are you, a notorious North Island-phobe, doing drinking a Martinborough wine in the first place?

I freely grant that Ati Rangi is the best Martinborough Pinot Noir, but is Central Otago not good enough for you now?

Paul Walker said...

bk. Fear not, I still have a few bottles of Central Otago pinot to be going on with.

Paul Walker said...

Let me add that the real reason to drink Ati Rangi is to deny it to those bloody North Islanders!

bk drinkwater said...

And let me add that it's always been my policy to deprive those savage Southerners of wines they can't possibly appreciate.

Yikes, one of the reasons I shamefully decided to go dry this year is that I had exhausted my stockpile of 2002 Pinot.

MacDoctor said...

Relax, Paul, this is all semantics. The studies on alcohol are all on regular consumption viz:

3 units a day/20 per week - good for you
4-5 units a day/20-35 a week - neutral or slightly bad for your health
6+ units a day/>35/week - bad for you

There is no evidence that having a couple of pints on a friday night (6.6 units) will kill you. Do that every day and your liver and brain will die a nasty death...

Paul Walker said...

Thanks for that MacDoctor. That makes me so happy I think I'll go and have a beer!