Sobering news

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January 5, 2013 by Doug Coutts

There’s a lot of pressure put on you and me over alcohol.  The brewers and distillers will go to any length to get us to drink more while the wowsers will stop at nothing to stop us.  There has been no overall winner so far, with both sides claiming the odd victory.

Strangely, though, the brewers kept rather quiet over the recent launch of the beer-in-schools project in which pupils in selected primary schools in Northland will get a stubby each at morning break, presumably to wean them off the cannabis.

And the teetotal brigade has failed to capitalise, so far at least, over the release of yet another report into the dangers of drinking.

We’re already aware that abusing alcohol can damage your liver, oesophagus, coccyx and self-esteem, but studies just to hand show that drinking can make you fat.

Of course, we’ve known about that too, but it hasn’t seemed that important in the cost-benefit analysis stakes, and weighing the upsides against the downsides.   I mean, realistically, just how many calories can there be in a pint of beer, especially one produced by Lion, NZB and Carlton United.  (Why is a can of Foster’s like sex on the beach?  Because they’re something near water.)

Realistically, there are – according to the latest figures – the same calories in a pint as there are in a Mars bar.  Now that’s a real worry.  Down three or four Mars bars after work and you wouldn’t be surprised if your Levi’s seemed a bit tight.  That’d be a much more effective poster than the current crop of Idiot/Legend ads.  “If you drink the equivalent of 8 peanut slabs and then drive, your arteries will harden before you get onto the motorway” may be a little wordy, but it has the shock factor backed up by science.

The report was largely ignored by the media, coming out as it did in the midst of the day-after-Boxing Day sales, record weather everywhere and a spate of road accidents at about the same rate as every other weekend.  But if word gets out, the hospitality industry is going to be hard-pushed to counter-attack.  No one really worries about the marketing of products that kill people, like tobacco, guns and poorly-engineered large-screen tv brackets, but how can you put positive spin on something that makes your fat?

You can’t.  So in the interests of fair play, let’s just hope it’s a hoax.  Otherwise the next time you go to Glasgow, you’ll have to have a deep-fried pint of Wee Heavy.  And that’s not only disgusting, it’s sick.


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