How much alcohol in your drink? - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

How much alcohol in your drink? Stronger beverages make it tough to tell

Updated: Oct 15, 2013 02:22 PM
© iStockphoto.com / Gene Krebs © iStockphoto.com / Gene Krebs
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Wild turkey season opening in Ohio

    Wild turkey season opening in Ohio

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:59:44 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's spring season for hunting wild turkeys opens Monday with youths allowed to begin hunting the popular game bird this weekend.The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says Ohio has had above-average hatch years that should result in many 2-year-old and 1-year-old male turkeys. The agency's Division of Wildlife anticipates about 70,000 licensed hunters aside from landowners hunting on their own property.The spring and youth turkey seasons are open statewide with the ...More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's spring season for hunting wild turkeys opens Monday with youths allowed to begin hunting the popular game bird this weekend.The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says Ohio has had above-average hatch years that should result in many 2-year-old and 1-year-old male turkeys. The agency's Division of Wildlife anticipates about 70,000 licensed hunters aside from landowners hunting on their own property.The spring and youth turkey seasons are open statewide with the ...More >>
  • Updated

    Search for 2 missing Lake Erie boaters delayed

    Search for 2 missing Lake Erie boaters delayed

    PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) - A state agency says it had to postpone a planned search in western Lake Erie for two boaters who disappeared days ago with two others whose bodies have been recovered.More >>
    PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) - A state agency says it had to postpone a planned search in western Lake Erie for two boaters who disappeared days ago with two others whose bodies have been recovered.More >>
  • Themes for WaterFire Sharon announced

    Themes for WaterFire Sharon announced

    SHARON, Pa. - WaterFire Sharon will return this summer to the Shenango River. The three big events will have several themes.  The theme on July 19th will be "Elements", August 23rd's theme will be "Origins"More >>
    SHARON, Pa. - WaterFire Sharon will return this summer to the Shenango River. The three big events will have several themes.  The theme on July 19th will be "Elements", August 23rd's theme will be "Origins"More >>

By Brenda Goodman
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Thanks to rising alcohol levels in wine and beer, the drinks served in bars and restaurants are often more potent than people realize, a new report shows.

As a result, even conscientious drinkers who stick to a strict one- or two-drink limit could easily find themselves beyond the legal limit for driving or accidentally consuming more alcohol than they want to for good health.

The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association released the new report online Tuesday.

The USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans say people who drink should do so in moderation, which means one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.

The guidelines define a "drink" as 12 ounces of regular beer with 5 percent alcohol, 5 ounces of wine with 12 percent alcohol and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, which are 40 percent alcohol by volume.

Those reference sizes should shrink as the alcohol content of drinks goes up, but that often doesn't happen, said report author William Kerr, a senior scientist with the Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, Calif.

"A lot of the wines now are 14 percent or even 15 percent commonly, and the standard 5-ounce glass of wine doesn't apply to that level," Kerr said. "Really a 4-ounce glass is more appropriate."

"And we've learned from our studies of bars and restaurants that the average glass is a little bit over 6 ounces," he said.

As a result, one glass of wine may actually contain about 50 percent more alcohol than a person had bargained for.

Beer drinkers may find themselves in the same boat. A 12-ounce bottle of Bud Light beer has 4.2 percent alcohol, but the same-size bottle of Bud Light Platinum has 6 percent alcohol by volume, a nearly 50 percent increase.

"If people are thinking, 'I can have two beers a day and that's a healthy amount,' that's different if the amount is 9 percent versus 5 percent alcohol," said Dr. Gerard Moeller, director of addiction medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, in Richmond.

It also matters whether you're drinking a standard 12-ounce bottle, or downing draft beer in pints, which are 16 ounces each.

Flavored malt beverages and newer flavored beers are muddying the waters even further, the report showed. These drinks, which include brands such as Bacardi Silver, Smirnoff Ice, Mike's Hard Lemonade and Four Loko, range from 5 percent to 12 percent alcohol.

Some of the more controversial varieties, like Colt 45's fruit-flavored Blast, which is 12 percent alcohol, are not only more potent, but also packaged in 23.5-ounce cans, making one container the equivalent of an entire bottle of a similarly strong wine.

Taken together, these examples suggest that Americans need better guidance about healthy drinking, said Robert Pandina, director of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, in Piscataway, N.J.

"The dietary guidelines aren't very useful," said Pandina, who was not involved in the report. "They don't parallel the drinking habits of the American public."

So what can you do if you're trying to moderate the amount of alcohol you drink?

In some situations, careful label reading and measuring will help ensure you don't overdo it.

"For home drinks, you should know what you're drinking," report author Kerr said. "You don't have to measure every time, but if you're going to be drinking out of the same wine glass, measure a couple of times so you know what a standard drink looks like."

"[At bars and restaurants], you should assume that poured drinks are more like one-and-a-half standard drinks" and maybe even more for mixed cocktails such as martinis and Long Island iced teas, he said.

If you're ordering beer, a little homework ahead of time can help you find out how strong your preferred brand is.

Then the trick is sticking to the limit you set for yourself.

"There's an old Native American expression, 'A man takes a drink. A drink takes a drink. Then the drink takes the man," Pandina said. The more you've had to drink, the easier it is to lose track of how much you've had.

Once you've hit your max, switch to water or something nonalcoholic to make sure you stay in control.

More information

For more about standard drink sizes, visit the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
  • Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president

    Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president

    CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio teacher has been fired following allegations that he told a black student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black president.The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1kIkFmQ ) the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday to fire science teacher Gil Voigt.Voigt didn't immediately return a call for comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.Voigt, who is white, says what he actually told the teen was th...More >>
    CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio teacher has been fired following allegations that he told a black student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black president.The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1kIkFmQ ) the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday to fire science teacher Gil Voigt.Voigt didn't immediately return a call for comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.Voigt, who is white, says what he actually told the teen was th...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms