Did you know that Thanksgiving Eve has skyrocketed to be one of the biggest binge drinking days of the year? Some call it “Drinksgiving”, or “Blackout Wednesday”, and it’s become an extraordinary night for the bar industry. I explain to KRON 4 Morning News weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, the why’s and why not’s of this big drinking holiday.
Drinkers and Drivers Beware!
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, high-risk binge drinking and DUI- related injuries increase by 33 percent. In some cities, there are more DUI’s and hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption during Drinksgiving. According to MADD, more people are KILLED during the Thanksgiving holiday than the Christmas holiday.
Since around 2012, Thanksgiving Eve has become known as one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year — right up there with St. Patrick’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and July Fourth. Why? Thanksgiving Eve is a big holiday homecoming party. A lot of people are visiting their parents for the long weekend and kick off the event by meeting up (and drinking) with old friends.
Some bar owners say their business goes up as much as 400% compared to anaverage Wednesday. It’s considered the “holiday before the holiday”.
Most Popular Drink During Thanksgiving
Wine – about 65% of drinkers
Beer – 20%
Mixed liquor drinks – about 15%
What is a Standard Drink?
In the U.S., one “standard” drink is defined as 0.6 fl. oz of “pure” alcohol which equates to:
1.5-oz. shot of distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whisky, etc. — about 40% alcohol)
What’s Considered Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is defined as having the following within a two-hour period:
Women: 4 or more drinks
Men: 5 or more drinks
One bottle of wine = 25 ounces (five 5-oz servings)
On the average, 2 people can finish a full bottle of wine in about 2 to 2.5 hours.
Long-Term Health Dangers from Binge Drinking
Heart Disease: Binge drinking can cause weakening of the heart muscles (“alcoholic cardiomyopathy”) even in 20- and 30-somethings and results in congestive heart failure.
Blood Pressure: There is a definitive link between blood pressure and the amount of alcohol consumed. Binge drinking, in particular, has beenassociated with dangerous surges in blood pressure.
Cancer: Alcohol is a known carcinogen for areas of the head and neck — the mouth, esophagus, throat. Long-term binge drinking may also increase the risk for cancers of the liver and breast.
Brain Damage: Binge drinking impacts the developing brain whereby a person in their 20’s is especially vulnerable to long-term memory loss and an inability to learn new skills in the years to come. That’s because the brain is continually changing and alcohol can interfere with those changes. Alcohol in large quantities is toxic to the delicate cells within the brain.
Alcohol Poisoning (Death): From 2010 to 2012, alcohol poisoning was responsible for approximately 2,200 deaths each year, or six deaths per day.Most people who die from alcohol poisoning are white men ages 35 to 64, according to the CDC.
Injuries: Per the CDC, binge drinking is responsible for 80,000 DEATHS in the U.S. each year.
Fit Tip: More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink. Know your limits, watch your intake, and consider the immediate and long-term health risks.
Heart disease is often blamed on genetics (your mom, dad, grandparents…) BUT over 360,000 Americans manage to kill themselves each year from the food they eat. Cardiovascular disease is the country’s number one killer and coronary artery diseaseor ischemic heart disease (where plaque-filled arteries literally choke off oxygen to your heart) leads the way.
Coronary heart disease accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the United States per year. But plaque not only builds up in your coronary arteries, it builds up in the vessels of your brain as well. And the result? Your brain shrinks.
BRAIN CELLS DIE
Unfortunately, the fat-laden, sugar-heavy junk you consume (and find so addictive) often packs on pounds around your middle. Abdominal obesity has been shown to kill brain cells. According to a study published in the Annals of Neurology, having more belly fat is associated with a decrease in total brain volume in middle-aged adults.
Lifestyle diseases are diseases that occur primarily as a result of your daily habits. Some of the main contributing factors include: bad food habits, physical inactivity, stress, and an aging biological clock.
Diabetes (A Model of Accelerated Aging)
The connection between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia are real and strong.
Experts are now referring to the progression from type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia to type 3 diabetes or brain diabetes. It occurs when neurons in the brain become unable to respond to insulin which is essential for memory and learning.
There is considerable evidence that diabetes is related to brain diseases. Younger diabetics suffer a variety of degenerative diseases earlier and with greater severity than non-diabetics and seem to age more rapidly than normal.
People with type 2 diabetes are 50-65% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people with normal blood sugars.
Coronary Artery Disease
Research shows if you get cardiovascular disease, it is likely to affect your cognitive function. Plaque builds up in your brain as well as your heart. Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol disrupt communication between nerve cells in your brain and contribute to memory and mental destruction.
As the population ages, it is expected that dementia incidences will increase 400% in the next 20 years. A 27-year studyfound obese people were 74% more likely to have dementia, while overweight people were 35% more likely.
Possible speculation is that substances such as leptin, a hormone released by visceral or “belly” fat may have some adverse effects on the brain. Leptin plays a role in appetite regulation but also in learning and memory.
Golf courses are the fifth most common place for people to suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). According to the American Heart Association, a golfer is one of over 380,000 people in the United States each year to suffer from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest… and less than seven percent survive.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack — They’re Different
Sudden cardiac arrest is usually the first symptom of cardiovascular disease — especially in women. Women are 66% less likely than men to be diagnosed with heart disease before SCA strikes.
Sudden cardiac arrest accounts for 50% of cardiac deaths. Cardiac deaths are considered “sudden” if the death or cardiac arrest occurred within one hour of the onset of symptoms.