In the section “Alcohol – instructions for use”, the Ministry of Health provides some indications regarding moderate and responsible consumption of alcohol, including:
- Choose low-alcohol drinks and consume them gradually
- Refrain from behaviors at risk of alcoholic intoxication, such as “binge drinking”
- Don’t drink if you have to drive
- Do not exceed the quantities considered to be “low risk”, that is:
- 2 alcohol units per day for men
- 1 alcohol unit per day for women
- 1 alcohol unit per day for over 65s
- 0 alcoholic units under 18 years
Where 1 alcohol unit corresponds to 12 grams of pure alcohol, that is:
- a glass of wine (125 ml at 12 °)
- a can of beer (330 ml at 4.5 °)
- an aperitif (80 ml at 38 °)
A glass of spirits
In the world, 1 in 3 people regularly consume alcoholic beverages (equal to 2.4 billion people, of which 1 billion and a half men and 900 million women): this is the result of a recent study, published in August in the scientific journal Lancet, which examined 694 studies on alcohol consumption around the world and assessed the health risks associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages in 195 countries.
- The study shows that the consumption of one alcoholic drink per day (10 g of alcohol) increases the risk of developing health problems by 0.5% and by 7% in those who consume two.
- The experts of the Grana Padano Nutritional Observatory interviewed 6,250 Italian adults, investigating the habit of using alcohol, especially in adult children under the age of 21.
- The Observatory study found that 74% of respondents use alcohol and, on average, consume about 10.2 g of alcohol per day (14.2 g for men and 6.3 g for women).
26% of the respondents used to consume an aperitif a week and usually alcohol is accompanied by a buffet (21%). The habit of having an aperitif is prevalently among young people, in fact, 45% of the respondents under the age of 21 report doing it at least once a week, and 62% of young people report going to the bar or pub after dinner once in week.
If we consider the use of wine, 30% of respondents state that they drink about a glass of wine every day and 20% of children start using it before the age of 21. The amount of wine that the interviewed adults drink corresponds to the standard reference consumption of the LARN, thus far from implications on health.
However, the sample of the study highlights that the use of alcohol in our country is precocious, it is estimated that two thirds of adult “drinkers” start using alcohol before the age of 21 and at risk are mainly males.
The use of alcohol is a risk factor for many diseases
Dr. Michela Barichella, President of the Brain and Malnutrition Association and member of the Scientific Committee of the Grana Padano Nutritional Observatory – and can compromise the ‘maturation’ of the brain , especially in those areas involved in impulse control.
- In adolescence the maturation of the brain is not complete, there are areas such as the limbic one that matures after the age of 20.
- This is why in some countries, for example in the United States, there is a ban on the use of alcohol under the age of 21 ”.