Searching for blog posts tagged with 'alcohol'

My Welcome Week



Well, so far so good. It seems weird not living on campus to be honest and, with such a diverse range of people moving from far afield to study at Sussex, it's strange not have the worry of accomodation to cope with. A nice strange though, selfishly. After spending my first day drinking what appeared to be only useful for steralising an open-wound, I was virtually comatose after supping on only-one of East Slope Bar's ciders. Give one a shot (no, actually, do not shot this) if you are feeling studenty. Being able to get 4 for £10 (enough to last you well into the small hours judging by their rapier-like strength) is a bargain.

Bought myself a red Sussex Uni hoody today for the rather agreeable price of £19.00, I think, from the USSU shop. Bit too hot to wear it really but I'm determined to get into the spirit of things. Living in Worthing, it would be easy for me to feel out-of-touch with campus life but this isn't the case. Only 36 hours in, I feel like I've been an undergraduate for the majority of my life but without any bad times at all.

Having worked for a massive corporation for two years prior to joining Sussex, I felt I would stick out like a sore thumb and not fit-in with the student comaraderie. How wrong I was... this is probably the only time in my life that over 13 complete strangers will speak with each other about totally random things in a public place. Unless you count back-alley dating clubs, natually.

My first protest/mission is to get Falmer Bar to start making fish fingers sandwiches. Not only do these provide (as far as I'm concerned) excellent nutritional value, but they also soak up vast quantities of alcohol (a haddocky sponge, if you will). If you wish to join me... well, why wouldn't you?... raise your voice for Bird's Eye!


Making sense of alcohol consumption guidelines



A series of studies coordinated by Dr Richard de Visser is examining how governments, health professionals, and individual make sense of and use alcohol consumption guidelines. Such research is important because the Government is currently reviewing its drinking guidelines for the first time in 15 years.

pouring a glass of wine Agreed international guidelines would make it easier for people living in a globalised world to develop and use transferable skills for monitoring and regulating their alcohol consumption. However, a comparison of drinking guidelines around the world conducted as part of Nina Furtwængler’s DPhil research under Dr de Visser’s supervision was published in February 2013 in Drug and Alcohol Review. The study examined government alcohol consumption guidelines in 57 countries, including all 27 European Member States, and found a remarkable lack of agreement about what constitutes harmful or excessive alcohol consumption on a daily basis or weekly basis. Key findings were:

  • Many countries do not have readily accessible guidelines (including 8 of the 27 EU member States).
  • Some countries do not define standard drinks, but offer general guidance encouraging moderate alcohol consumption and/or abstinence in certain circumstances
  • The alcohol content of a “unit” or “standard drink” ranges from 8g in the UK  to 14g in Slovakia and the USA.
  • There is no consensus as to whether drinkers should have alcohol-free days every week
  • There is no consensus as to whether it is safe for women to drink as much as men

It is important to have specific guidelines, because these are likely to be more useful for individuals and health professionals than vague advice to “drink moderately”.

However, an earlier study conducted by Dr de Visser revealed that knowledge of unit-based guidelines may not be enough to motivate people to drink moderately. Other as-yet unpublished data from Ms Furtwængler’s DPhil research indicate that people tend not to use unit-based guidelines to monitor their alcohol consumption.

Despite these caveats, it is important for people who do want to adhere to recommendations to drink responsibly that there are internationally agreed standard definitions of alcohol units and consumption guidelines. Dr de Visser’s planned future research will determine whether giving people personalised feedback on their actual alcohol intake will help them calibrate their intake with government guidelines and motivate them to drink moderately.