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Quiz: Alcohol myths and facts

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Which of the following is a benefit of moderate and heavy drinking?

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Which of the following is a benefit of moderate and heavy drinking?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Heavy drinking does not have any health benefits. Apart from a wide range of negative health consequences, including an increased risk of many types of cancer, it also contributes to injury, violence, increased body weight and impaired cognitive function. Alcohol-related deaths account for almost 1.5% of all deaths in England and Wales.

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A woman is a "heavy drinker" if she drinks more than how many units per week?

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A woman is a "heavy drinker" if she drinks more than how many units per week?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The NHS defines hazardous drinking for women as consumption of more than 14 units a week. The NHS recommends women should not regularly drink more than two to three units of alcohol a day. Men should not regularly drink more than three to four units a day. One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, so a large glass of wine contains around three units and an ordinary pint of lager contains around two units.

Which of the following is a risk of heavy drinking?

Which of the following is a risk of heavy drinking?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Excessive drinking can have a wide range of negative effects on your health, including an increased risk of diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure and stroke. Excessive drinking also can increase your risk of a variety of cancers, including mouth, larynx and oesophageal cancers, breast cancer and cancers of the liver, gastrointestinal tract and colon.

Heavy drinking can shrink your brain.

Heavy drinking can shrink your brain.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Long-term heavy drinking actually changes your brain. It may shrink both the overall mass of the brain and the size of the brain's cells. These and other negative effects can reduce your mental abilities, with deficits in learning, memory and problem-solving. Heavy long-term drinking also can harm your mood, sleep and motor skills. Abstinence - avoiding alcohol - can partially reverse these effects.

Evidence suggests that moderate drinking is good for the heart.

Evidence suggests that moderate drinking is good for the heart.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The British Heart Foundation says moderate alcohol consumption (1-2 units a day) may offer some protection from coronary heart disease, especially in men over 40 and in postmenopausal women.

One reason might be that moderate drinking helps maintain levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL).

However, the key word here is "moderate."  Long-term heavy drinking weakens the heart muscle and can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and other cardiovascular problems.

On average, middle-aged and older people who drink in moderation will outlive those who do not drink.

On average, middle-aged and older people who drink in moderation will outlive those who do not drink.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes in middle-aged and older adults. It's not clear why, but some researchers think it's likely due to the protective effects of moderate drinking against heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Experts recommend that healthy adult non-drinkers begin drinking in moderation for cardiovascular health.

Experts recommend that healthy adult non-drinkers begin drinking in moderation for cardiovascular health.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The NHS urges people who don't drink not to start. The British Medical Journal agrees, saying there’s no need for people to start drinking because of potential health benefits. Studies only support benefits from moderate drinking. However, even moderate drinking can also be associated with increased risk of breast cancer, violence, drowning, falls and car crashes.

Research suggests moderate consumption of red wine might lower the risk of:

Research suggests moderate consumption of red wine might lower the risk of:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The British Heart Foundation says there is some evidence to suggest that moderate consumption of red wine may provide protection for the heart. Research suggests red wine may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, while grape skin provides flavonoids and other antioxidant substances that may protect the heart and blood vessels. However the BHF says these findings still need to be established in controlled studies.

Which of the following has the most calories?

Which of the following has the most calories?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Alcoholic beverages can be a significant source of extra calories. If you drink a lot of any alcoholic beverage, you can pack on the pounds quickly. For moderate drinkers, the choice of beverage can make a big difference. Most of us know that beer - with about 170 calories per pint - is high in calories, but the caloric content of many cocktails (1 pina colada = 460 calories) may be surprising. A standard 175ml glass of wine has 126 calories.

Studies suggest moderate drinking may reduce your risk of dementia.

Studies suggest moderate drinking may reduce your risk of dementia.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Although researchers caution that more study is needed, evidence suggests that light to moderate drinking in early adult life may help protect against dementia in later life. Older people who drink in moderation also may reduce their risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

However, these effects are associated only with light or moderate drinking and the NHS cautions heavy drinking is linked to an increased risk of dementia.

How many adults are binge drinkers, or regularly consume more than double safe limits?

How many adults are binge drinkers, or regularly consume more than double safe limits?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

According to the Office of National Statistics, more than one third of British adults regularly drink over the safe daily alcohol limit. The NHS says the term "binge drinking" usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time, or drinking to get drunk. That usually means eight or more units for men and six or more for women.

Binge drinking is associated with a wide variety of health issues, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy. It's also a risk factor for injury, violence and suicide.

Which of the following groups are more likely than average to engage in binge drinking?

Which of the following groups are more likely than average to engage in binge drinking?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The Institute of Alcohol Studies says the UK has one of the worst drinking cultures in Europe. British teens, along with those in Ireland and Denmark, are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe. The Scottish government is bringing in minimum alcohol pricing, while deep discounting is being banned in England.

Most binge drinkers are alcoholics.

Most binge drinkers are alcoholics.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Most binge drinkers are casual drinkers who sometimes drink to excess.  The NHS says they are simply people who have regularly drunk more than the recommended levels for some years. Health problems can take years to emerge, but the risk includes liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, increased risk of certain cancers and heart attack.

Alcohol abuse can also lead to alcohol dependency, also known as alcohol addiction or alcoholism.

Drinking caffeine and alcohol together may lead to hazardous behaviour.

Drinking caffeine and alcohol together may lead to hazardous behaviour.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Drinking caffeine and alcohol together may lead to hazardous behaviour because caffeine can mask clues about a person's level of intoxication. Drinkers who mix alcohol and caffeine also are twice as likely to report being taken advantage of sexually or to ride with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol, according to a 2008 study.

Alcohol hits women harder than men.

Alcohol hits women harder than men.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Women are more vulnerable to alcohol for a variety of reasons. First, women tend to weigh less than men, so a drink delivers proportionately more alcohol. But even in the case of men and women who weigh the same, alcohol hits women harder because they metabolise it differently. Alcohol is diluted by the body’s water content, and women tend to have a lower water content. This means that alcohol is not as diluted in their bodies, and their organs are exposed to more alcohol.

Women are at greater risk of negative health consequences of drinking, including liver, brain and heart damage.

Studies suggest a glass of red wine a day may cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half.

Studies suggest a glass of red wine a day may cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Research studies published in the International Journal of Cancer suggested that men who drink a glass of red wine a day may cut their risk of prostate cancer in half. However, according to Cancer Research UK more recent and larger studies have found that red wine does not affect a man’s risk of prostate cancer.

Also bear in mind, heavy drinking may increase the risk of other cancers.

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