Saturday, August 04, 2007

Binge drinking

As I sat on the Tube yesterday evening, I was reading The London Paper freesheet and noticed that they had a feature about alcohol intake. A number of "typical" Londoners were asked to monitor their alcohol intake for the week; the highest was 92 units.

So, I thought that I would have a go (although this week has been far from typical, I should point out) with the aid of this handy little units calculator.
  1. Saturday: stayed in and drank two bottles of strong Abbot Ale.
    5.6 units.

  2. Sunday: three pints of Tribute at the pub quiz.
    6.9 units.

  3. Monday: stayed in and drank a bottle of white wine.
    8.2 units.

  4. Tuesday: lunch at the Liberal Club, courtesy of Katy. Drank the majority of two bottles of wine, a glass of port and a glass of dessert wine. This will have to be a slight estimation, I'm afraid.
    Wine 14: units + Large Port: 3 units + Dessert Wine: 2.5 units = 19.5 units.

    We then met up with a number of other bloggers at some place on the South Bank, where I drank 13 passionfruit margheritas (including 2 "on the house". Result!) and 2 raspberry something or others. I shall estimate 1.5 units for each.
    22.5 units.

    Total: 45 units.

  5. Wednesday: 2 pints of Young's in the pub.
    3.8 units.

  6. Thursday: an evening meeting in the pub about a campaign website. 6 pints of Samuel Smith's Bitter.
    11.4 units.

  7. Friday: lunch with a friend involved 2 pints of Abbot Ale.
    5.6 units.

    The evening involved 3 pints of Sammy Smith's and then on to Burns So Bright. There I drank 4 double vodkas on the rocks with fresh lime and 4 pints of London Pride.
    Vodka: 8 units + Beer: 15.7 units = 23.7 units.

So, what was my total alcohol intake for the week? 110.2 units.


Having said that, the very untypical Tuesday does skew the result slightly. A more typical week would probably amount to roughly 50 or 60 units. What's the safe limit again? 28 or something?

Perhaps we should turn this into some sort of meme: why not do the same thing and tot up your week's alcohol intake?

Still, whilst I should point out that I did not fight anyone, pinch anyone's bottom or mug any old ladies, I look forward to the inevitable scolding from A&E Charge Nurse in the comments...


Mark Wadsworth said...

2 bottles white whine @ 75 cl x 12% abv x 7 days = 126 units.

So what?

Katy Newton said...

I still don't understand how you can be alive. How? How are you alive?

And how are you so fucking thin?

Z said...

I'm not sure how the 'safe' limit was calculated in the first place. Probably they thought of a number and halved it, just to worry people. Bloody killjoys.

Nevertheless, I rather second what Katy says. Not that I mind. Good for you.

Chris said...

Holy feck It's Fringe time I don't even want to start to think about how much I'm drinking/have drunk....

Devil's Kitchen said...


I'm just limbering up for the Fringe! I'll be seeing you soon! I am up from Monday evening...


Bill said...

Most impressive! I've had (I think) four or five bottle of wine this last week - say 40/45 units, plus a nightcap most nights of a cognac or an armagnac (probably at least doubles, I imagine) - I hesistate to add that lot up, but it's prbably not a lot shy of 60 or 70. Ah well ...

Roger Thornhill said...

My intake has been very high in the past. When I was in HK in the midst of all that - and anyone living in HK will probably know how alcohol-fuelled life can be there - I had an ultrasound check and my liver was pristine.

I think it is partly to do with what and how you drink, not just units.

Pogo said...

Don't worry...

According to a doctor friend, 28 units is only the "headline figure" whereas the "real figure" is set at 84 units. The adjustment is made by the doctor asking you how many units you drink then multiplying your answer by three to give an actual figure.

To compensate for this, when a doctor asks you how many times you have sex, the number you give is divided by three.

On a more "sensible" tone... Do you not consider it utterly absurd that the "official" definition of a "binge drinker" (ie drinking more than twice your daily limit in one session) thereby includes just about every middle-aged beer drinker of my acquaintance?

The Remittance Man said...

I've been a bit off colour for the last few days, but judging by the amount I've slept and the shrinkage in the Bushmills stockpile I can only surmise my consumption (for medicinal purposes) was "dangerously excessive".

Still, I feel a lot better now, so it must have worked.

Fidothedog said...

Oh the London Beer Fest is on at the moment, therefore a fair few people will be passing the advised measures

Eyal said...

This is not binge drinking, THIS is binge drinking.

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Devil it is not the nagging and sanctimonious charge nurse you fear but your own inner realist.

110 units in a week may be no big deal for you but at the risk of sounding like a stuck record it might be for the piss-head who mows down an elderly woman waiting at the bus stop, or for the heroes who beat the crap out of their other half once they stagger in from the pub [my sister is attached to a domestic violence unit in Liverpool, some of the stories are truly horrible].

I can assure you that your raybans and Byronesque floppy fringe might not look quite so cool if your gut is swollen to twice is normal size due to intractable ascities........remember not everybody has Keith Richards superhuman powers of recovery, although even Keef is looking rather banged out these days.

By all means continue bevvying at 100+ units per week, in fact my mortgage provider is probably hoping that you will

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Incidentally Katy, many alcoholics are so fucking thin because they fail to eat essential nutrients [prefering a liquid diet] and then after a while even if/when they do eat fruit/veg, etc the body is unable to properly absorb them - resulting in vitamin deficiency, amongst other problems.

Most alcohol info leaflets usually tell you that toxins [resulting from the breakdown of 100+ units per week] interfere with normal metabolism, eventually.

It would be too tedious to list the full extent of end organ damage from the demon drink but it always amazes me that so many people think 'it won't happen to me', or 'everything is under control' despite objective evidence which proves quite the opposite.

The tacit approval of remittance man & co mirrors the response of other problem drinkers - I suspect thay prefer to direct their anger toward the killjoys rather than addressing the underlying motives for needing to escape reality on such a regular basis.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...