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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Alcohol Use and Abuse

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 20:26:29 -0300 (CLST)

It is very difficult to get accurate information about alcohol use.  I
wanted to understand my own level of drinking as I really have no idea
what is excessive or not.

I went to http://www.downyourdrink.org.uk which is described in this paper
- http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/39/1/29 - but
found that it contained three different measurements of a unit:
 - One small glass (125ml) of wine was defined as 1 unit
 - A bottle of wine (750ml) was defined as 7.5 units (100ml = 1 unit)
 - Two small glasses of wine (250ml) was recorded as 3.1 units
   in their online drink diary (83ml = 1 unit)

It seems - according to
http://her.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/19/5/485 - that a unit in
the UK is 8g of alcohol or 10ml (8g is also confirmed in the govt report
below).  The wine I am currently drinking is 13%, and there's 750ml in a
bottle, so that's 97.5ml or 10 units.

This UK govt report -
http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/08/47/02/04084702.pdf - says that 3 to 4
units a day should not be a significant health risk (for men).  Also,
leave 2 days after heavy drinking.

Having a wine free day is something I hadn't thought of, and I rather like
the idea.  So let's declare Monday wine free and set a limit of 3 units on
the other 6 days of the week (since my weight is quite low I should err on
the side of caution).  That means 18 units a week, which is close enough
to two bottles.

So here's my healthy drinking plan: new bottles on Tuesday and Friday. 
Since I probably drink more at a weekend and less during weekdays, it
might make sense to open the second bottle Saturday.

But what about (i) going out and (ii) the occasional spirit?  Going out is
normally a restaurant with Pauli, and wine is (relatively) expensive so
I'll get a coke instead.  A party or similar at someone's house is so rare
in my boring life that it can be ignored.  My main source of spirits is
Pisco Sour left in the fridge (by Pauli's students - don't ask!).  So
let's dump that.

Happily this fits pretty much with what I have been doing anyway :o)

Andrew

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