Archive for October, 2009

Alcohol and Weight Gain

FE_PR_081202onwomen_weightgainAlcohol can be used as an energy source from the body.  By itself it is high in energy content, it contains 7 calories of energy per gram; this is close to the caloric density of fat, at 9 calories per gram. If you also take into account that many alcoholic drinks also contain added sugars then most alcoholic drinks can add a substantial amount of extra calories to the diet. For this reason many experts recommend limiting consumption of alcohol when trying to lose weight.

The energy from alcohol cannot be stored so it must be oxidised and converted into energy for immediate use by the cells. While our body uses up all the alcohol circulating in the blood, the oxidation of fats, carbohydrates and protein becomes suppressed; because of this more of these macronutrients are forced into storage than under normal conditions without alcohol. Alcohol can make you fat in an indirect manner.


October 31, 2009 at 1:45 am Leave a comment

What is Alcohol in Moderation?

Yes you hear all about not drinking.  But you don’t hear about what is “the norm” or considered acceptable while using in moderation.  I found a news article recently that talks about what they mean when they say moderation..

What is Moderation?

Moderation is often described in the US as two drinks a day for a man and one drink a day for a women. These drinks can’t be “saved” over time and then drunk in one day. A drink is:

Standard Drinks

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.

  • a 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer
  • a five-ounce glass of dinner wine
  • a shot of liquor or spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink)

Remember that the alcohol content of standard drinks are equivalent [learn more about Alcohol Equivalence]. A drink is a drink is a drink. To a breathalyzer, they’re all the same. 6 For more, visit Standard Drinks.

Most countries define moderation at higher levels of consumption than does the US. For example, Australia, Italy and France consider from 3 to over four drinks per day for men to be moderate drinking. People are all different. To decide what level is appropriate for you, consult your doctor.

So there ya go! drink in moderation please.


October 31, 2009 at 1:12 am 1 comment

Alcohol-what it’s visually doing to your body!

anatomy of hangover

The best way to show what alcohol is doing to your body, is by using a visual.


October 31, 2009 at 1:02 am 3 comments

Alcohol Treatment Centers in Utah

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, here are some treatment centers for them.

Alpine Treatment Services – Offers 30 day & 60 day residential inpatient substance abuse program, transitional living, sober tracking, etc.  (801) 784- 8329.

Joshua House, The – A residential transitional care facility for women overcoming addiction.  (801) 427-2757.  Utah County, Utah.

Ark of Little Cottonwood, The –  Offers 28-day residential substance abuse program, a 90-day residential substance abuse program, transitional housing and sober living. (800) 370-9520.  Sandy, Utah.

Ascend Recovery – Offers 30, 40, 60 and 90 day residential drug rehab programs.  (801) 216-4800.  Highland, Utah County, Utah.

Cirque Lodge – Treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction.  Sundance, Utah.

Positive Adjustments Corporation – Offers outpatient substance abuse services for adolescents and adults.  (801) 466-4484.  Salt Lake City, Utah.

Renaissance Ranch – Residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment at a secluded mountain retreat.  Park City, Summit County, Utah.

Utah Summit Lodge – Adult residential drug and alcohol treatment program.  (435) 427-8808.  Fairview, Sanpete County, Utah.

Wilderness Quest Outdoor Youth Treatment Program – Wilderness living and twelve step, drug and alcohol, treatment center in Monticello, Utah.

YouthCare Residential Treatment Center – Residential treatment for youth ages twelve to eighteen who are experiencing academic, emotional, or behavioral problems including substance abuse.  800-786-4924  Draper, Salt Lake County & Utah County, Utah.

October 31, 2009 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

Binge Drinking in Adolescents and College Aged Students


Binge Drinking on College Campuses

  • According to a 1997 national study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, nearly half of all college students surveyed drank four or five drinks in one sitting within the previous 2 weeks.
  • Students who live in a fraternity or sorority house are the heaviest drinkers – 86 percent of fraternity residents and 80 percent of sorority residents report binge drinking.
  • In a recent study, 39 percent of college women binge drank within a 2-week period compared with 50 percent of college men.
  • Colleges with high binge drinking rates were also much more likely to attract students who were binge drinkers in high school.
  • In one multicampus survey, white non-Hispanic students reported the highest percentage of binge drinking in a 2-week period (43.8 percent), followed by Native American (40.6 percent), Hispanic (31.3 percent), Asian (22.7 percent), and black non-Hispanic (22.5 percent) students. This pattern of binge drinking differences among ethnic groups is also seen in high school students.

Consequences of Binge Drinking

Alcohol poisoning – a severe and potentially fatal physical reaction to an alcohol overdose – is the most serious consequence of binge drinking. When excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed, the brain is deprived of oxygen. The struggle to deal with an overdose of alcohol and lack of oxygen will eventually cause the brain to shut down the voluntary functions that regulate breathing and heart rate.

If a person is known to have consumed large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
  • Slow or irregular breathing (less than 8 breaths a minute or 10 or more seconds between breaths).

Secondary Effects of Binge Drinking

  • In schools with high binge drinking rates, 34 percent of non-binge drinkers reported being insulted or humiliated by binge drinkers; 13 percent reported being pushed, hit, or assaulted; 54 percent reported having to take care of a drunken student; 68 percent were interrupted while studying; and 26 percent of women experienced an unwanted sexual advance


** Frequent binge drinkers were eight times more likely than non-binge drinkers to miss a class, fall behind in schoolwork, get hurt or injured, and damage property.

** Nearly one out of every five teenagers (16 percent) has experienced “black out” spells where they could not remember what happened the previous evening because of heavy binge drinking.

** More than 60 percent of college men and almost 50 percent of college women who are frequent binge drinkers report that they drink and drive.

** Binge drinking during high school, especially among males, is strongly predictive of binge drinking in college.

** Binge drinking during college may be associated with mental health disorders such as compulsiveness, depression or anxiety, or early deviant behavior.

** In a national study, 91 percent of women and 78 percent of the men who were frequent binge drinkers considered themselves to be moderate or light drinkers.


Obviously binge drinking is becoming a growing trend.   Being a college student myself, I have some of my own suggestions:

#1.  Having the right friends.  I’m not saying don’t have friends who drink, I’m saying have friends who are smart with drinking if they drink.

#2.  Put school first.  Yes college is a great time to go out and have some fun, but remember to put your priorities in an order that will be beneficial for you!

#3.  Be smart with how much you drink.

October 19, 2009 at 11:25 pm 1 comment

Drinking and Driving


I think the statistics on drinking and driving speak for themselves.  Alcohol doesn’t mix with driving.  It impairs your judgment, plainly stated.

  • On average someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. In 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in drunk driving related crashes—a decline of 9.8 percent from the 13,041 drunk driving related fatalities of 2007.
  • Fifty to 75 percent of drunk drivers whose licenses are suspended continue to drive.
  • Over 1.46 million drivers were arrested in 2006 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 139 licensed drivers in the United States.
  • Of the over 159 million alcohol-impaired driving trips estimated that Americans took in 2002, over ten percent (18 million trips) were made by 18-20 year olds.
  • Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost the public an estimated $114.3 billion in 2000, including $51.1 billion in monetary costs and an estimated $63.2 billion in quality of life losses. People other than the drinking driver paid $71.6 billion of the alcohol-related crash bill, which is 63 percent of the total cost of these crashes.
  • About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.
  • A first time drunk driving offender on average has driven drunk 87 times prior to being arrested.
  • In 2001, more than half a million people were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured almost every minute.

After watching people I love and care about pay hundreds even thousands for drinking and driving in fines, it’s just not worth it and all of them when it is said and done, wish they had just called a cab/sober friend.

October 15, 2009 at 12:50 am 2 comments

Pregnancy and Alcohol

no alcohol

What are the hazards of drinking alcohol during pregnancy?
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause FASDs, with effects that range from mild to severe. These effects include mental retardation; learning, emotional and behavioral problems; and defects involving the heart, face and other organs. The most severe of these effects is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a combination of physical and mental birth defects.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk for miscarriage and premature birth (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy). Studies also suggest that drinking during pregnancy may contribute to stillbirth. A 2008 Danish study found that women who binge drink three or more times during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy had a 56 percent greater risk for stillbirth than women who did not binge drink. Another 2008 study found that women who had five or more drinks a week were 70 percent more likely to have a stillborn baby than non-drinking women.

Pretty much to sum it all up, drinking while being pregnant is definately not a good thing and will in no way ever be a possible benefit for your baby, but more of a hazard.

How much alcohol is too much during pregnancy?
No level of drinking alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the patterns of drinking that place a baby at greatest risk for FASDs are binge drinking and drinking seven or more drinks per week. However, FASDs can occur in babies of women who drink less.

Researchers are taking a closer look at the more subtle effects of moderate and light drinking during pregnancy.

  • A 2002 study found that 14-year-old children whose mothers drank as little as one drink a week were significantly shorter and leaner and had a smaller head circumference (a possible indicator of brain size) than children of women who did not drink at all.
  • A 2001 study found that 6- and 7-year-old children of mothers who had as little as one drink a week during pregnancy were more likely than children of non-drinkers to have behavior problems, such as aggressive and delinquent behaviors. These researchers found that children whose mothers drank any alcohol during pregnancy were more than three times as likely as unexposed children to demonstrate delinquent behaviors.
  • A 2007 study suggested that female children of women who drank less than one drink a week were more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems at 4 and 8 years of age. The study also suggested similar effects in boys, but at higher levels of drinking.
  • Other studies report behavioral and learning problems in children exposed to moderate drinking during pregnancy, including attention and memory problems, hyperactivity, impulsivity, poor social and communication skills, psychiatric problems (including mood disorders) and alcohol and drug use.

If a pregnant woman has one or two drinks before she realizes she is pregnant, can it harm the baby?
It is unlikely that the occasional drink a woman takes before she realizes she is pregnant will harm her baby. The baby’s brain and other organs begin developing around the third week of pregnancy, however, and are vulnerable to damage in these early weeks. Because no amount of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy, a woman should stop drinking immediately if she even suspects she could be pregnant, and she should not drink alcohol if she is trying to become pregnant.

What is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)?
FAS is one of the most common known causes of mental retardation. It is the only cause that is entirely preventable. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that between 1,000 and 6,000 babies in the United States are born yearly with FAS.

Babies with FAS are abnormally small at birth and usually do not catch up on growth as they get older. They have characteristic facial features, including small eyes, a thin upper lip and smooth skin in place of the normal groove between the nose and upper lip. Their organs, especially the heart, may not form properly. Many babies with FAS also have a brain that is small and abnormally formed. Most have some degree of mental disability. Many have poor coordination, a short attention span and emotional and behavioral problems.

The effects of FAS and other FASDs last a lifetime. Even if not mentally retarded, adolescents and adults with FAS and other FASDs are at risk for psychological and behavioral problems and criminal behavior. They often find it difficult to keep a job and live independently.

Is it safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?
Small amounts of alcohol do get into breastmilk and are passed on to the baby. One study found that breastfed babies of women who had one or more drinks a day were a little slower in acquiring motor skills (such as crawling and walking) than babies who had not been exposed to alcohol. Large amounts of alcohol may interfere with ejection of milk from the breast.

For these reasons, the March of Dimes recommends that women not drink alcohol while they are breastfeeding. Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding mothers not drink alcohol. However, according to the AAP, an occasional alcoholic drink probably doesn’t hurt the baby, but a mother who has a drink should wait at least 2 hours before breastfeeding her baby.

October 8, 2009 at 3:55 am 4 comments

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