Well, sure. A toast, in honor of a big or special event is a common way to celebrate here in America and all over the world, in fact. But today, I want to focus on us Americans and just how much we drink. Alcohol is available almost anywhere you turn in our country. From the ballpark, to that backyard barbecue, to a wedding, to a romantic, candlelit dinner for two, oh...the list just goes on and on. But how much do we drink, really? The findings of a recent survey may surprise you.
30% of Americans don't drink at all.
The survey found that 30% of Americans don't drink at all. (That's the group I fall in to.) The next 30%, over the course of a week, might have the equivalent of less than one drink per day. Then there's the next 20% who might be considered moderate drinkers. They might have just a couple a drinks per day, rounding up to about 14 drinks a week. But it's the final category that alarmed me the most. These people have the equivalent of over 70 drinks a week! My goodness! That means they're having roughly 10 drinks a day. Another way to look at that is about two six-packs of beer each day or over FOUR whole bottles of Jack Daniels Whiskey consumed over the course of a week. Whoa! That's a lot!
In fact, people in that last group, who make up only about 20% of the entire total, account for about 80% of total alcohol sales in the United States. If those people were to cut back to the amount consumed by the group of drinkers above them, that is, those people who have barely a couple of drinks a day, alcohol sales in this country would dip by more than 50%! And I'm betting, the companies that make their profits off alcohol would not like to see that happen!
I have never told you not to have an occasional cocktail.
But may I tell you something? People who fall into that top 20% category, in my book, have a serious drinking problem. I have never told you not to have an occasional cocktail. But, as with all things that could otherwise be bad for our bodies, it's all about moderation. That goes for sugar, chocolate and, of course, alcohol. I'm afraid that those people in the heavy drinking group may have serious problems with alcohol they may not be aware of or are in denial about. Truth is, that state of denial is probably a surefire clue that they're really alcoholics.
Too much alcohol brings with it a series of serious medical problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, gout, depression, cirrhosis of the liver and a list of other problems. On top of that, heavy alcohol consumption is often involved with problems like spousal abuse. (Which has been in the news a lot lately.) And let's not even get into the issue of drunk driving. No, in fact, let's do! Over 10,000 people a year die as a result of alcohol-related driving accidents. How tragic is that?
Be sure to count that glass of wine, bottle of beer or margarita on your FoodMover.
For all of those alcohol companies out there, I do want you make a profit. But not at the expense of our lives or good health. That's where YOU come in. If you like an occasional cocktail, that's fine. But remember that important word, moderation. Be sure to count that glass of wine, bottle of beer or margarita on your FoodMover, too. Have one drink and stop. And if you know you're going to be drinking more than one cocktail, be sure you will NOT be driving an automobile later. Because the one thing I want to always be able to raise a toast to is your good health and to your living a long life.
Okay, a toast to your long, healthy life. And I hope you don't mind if, instead of alcohol, I fill my cocktail glass with some good-for-our-bodies sparkling water!