Doctors’ Medical Advice on Drinking Alcohol
by David J. Hanson, Ph. D.
Anyone who consumes alcoholic beverages should know this important fact:
A glass of wine, a bottle of beer, and a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol and they are the same to a Breathalyzer. A standard drink is:
- A 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer
- A 5-ounce glass of wine
- A one and 1/2 ounce drink of 80 proof distilled spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink.
Knowing about this alcohol equivalence can help people drink sensibly and in moderation. In the words of the American Dietetic Association, “Knowing the facts of beverage alcohol equivalence is a crucial aspect of responsible drinking.” 1 For example, people won’t be fooled by the myth that drinking “hard liquor” leads more quickly to intoxication than other alcoholic beverages.
In a recent poll of physicians, 95% said it is important that people understand the alcohol equivalence of standard drinks and 98% believe it important for doctors to communicate this and other information about alcohol consumption.
Standard Drinks graphically illustrates information on the equivalence of standard drinks of beer, wine and distilled spirits or liquor. Its accuracy has been established by medical and other health professionals.
The research was conducted by the American Medical Women’s Association, the oldest and largest multispecialty association of women physicians in the world.
Dr. Raymond Scaletter, former Chairman of the American Medical Association says “Incorporating standard drink information into routine examinations will help to reinforce moderation in those who drink and to identify problems associated with alcohol abuse.” The medical leader says that it’s important for doctors to “reinforce moderate and responsible drinking.” 2
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