I went on a binge last night. Or at least I may have.
It was St. Pat's so I decided to check out the local Irish Pubs, the Blarney Stone and O'Malley's. Both were good, but the former was better by a long shot. More authentic, smaller, cozier and the barman threw in a free shot of Jagermeister because my meal was late. It was the Jagermeister, my fifth drink, that turned the evening into a binge. On top of that, I had four pints of Guinness between 19:00-22:00. That would be five drinks total which, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, would be a binge:
Bingers were defined as male students who had at least five drinks in a row on at least one occasion in the two weeks before the survey, or women students who downed at least four drinks in a row. A "drink" was defined as 12 ounces of beer or wine cooler, 4 ounces of wine or a 1.25-ounce shot of liquor
Christ, that means half the time Lisa split a reasonably strong bottle of Shiraz at dinner we're "binging." We do that almost every night.
I prefer the 'binge' definition of the UK's Royal College of Physicians. That would put last night well below binge level:
Personally, I've always thought a binge was measured in a temporal, rather than volume, measurement. Specifically, "how many days did the bender last" or "how many hours of memory had vanished."
Definitions of 'binge drinking' vary. A report of the Royal College of Physicians (2002) defined binge drinking as: 'a man who regularly drinks 10 or more units in a single session, or a woman who regularly drinks 7 or more units in a single session.'
Still, the divergence between the two sides of the Atlantic may explain why I tend to use UK colloquialisms - such as 'flat' for 'apartment' - rather than US/Canadian ones. Brits drink more than Americans. I drink more than Americans. Ergo, on a late night of 'binging,' Brits usually surround me at closing time. The English English language is absorbed through drunken osmosis. [You know I've tried to explain that before by saying I prefer economical language. Why use the multi-syllabic term "suspenders" when you can say "braces?" Why stick all of those extra 'u's everywhere when spelling words like flavor? But it's probably because I've been hanging around too many Brits socially and writing for mostly American companies.]
Anyway, a keen study on international alcohol consumption guidelines is here. Here are some of the notes on recommended male alcohol intake levels from around the Anglosphere:
- Australia: for a healthy man, four standard drinks per day with two alcohol-free days per week is regarded as low risk.
- Canada: no more than seven drinks per week.
- Ireland: Three units per day.
- New Zealand: no more than 21 standard drinks per week and no more than six on any one occasion.
- UK: Regular consumption of between three and four units a day for men of all ages "will not accrue significant health risk".
- US: no more than two drinks per day.
Happy belated St. Patrick's!