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Week of November 1, 2010

MHealthy offers 
Alcohol Serving Size Challenge online

It’s not easy to know how much alcohol is in a drink, and that can make responsible decision-making about alcohol difficult. Just in time for the holiday season, MHealthy is launching an online Alcohol Serving Size Challenge.

“Many people are surprised to learn what counts as one drink,” says Teresa Herzog Mourad, MHealthy Alcohol Management program coordinator. “In the United States, a standard drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol. So, it’s not the size or number of drinks, but the amount of alcohol in each drink that counts.” And that can be hard to determine.

For example, Herzog Mourad says, “While the alcohol content may vary, the average margarita has at least two shots in it. So, after two margaritas, you really have had the equivalent of four drinks.

Herzog Mourad says MHealthy’s Alcohol Serving Size Challenge helps people make better-informed decisions about their alcohol use by showing them how many drinks are actually in their favorite drink. Research shows that people tend to underestimate how much alcohol they have consumed and overestimate how much other people are drinking.

“That’s why we created the Alcohol Serving Size Challenge. It’s a fun, anonymous way for people to raise their awareness about the amount of alcohol in various types of drinks.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of moderate, safer, lower-risk drinking for legal adults younger than 65 is no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men, but not every day. The CDC also advises that people who are pregnant, have a family history of alcoholism, are prone to over drinking, have health complications that could be made worse by drinking, or have been advised by a physician not to drink should avoid alcohol altogether.

“About a third of people who use alcohol have drinking problems,” Herzog Mourad says. “That is not to say that they are alcoholic or severely dependent on alcohol. But they regularly consume too much alcohol, and this puts them at risk for negative consequences like poor sleep, problems with relationships and too many empty calories. These are the people that we see in the MHealthy Alcohol Management Program. It’s a health education program for people with mild to moderate alcohol problems, and it’s free for U-M faculty and staff.”

To take the MHealthy Alcohol Serving Size Challenge, go to www.mhealthy.umich.edu/alcohol-challenge. Those who provide an e-mail address at the end of the online challenge will be entered in a drawing to take place Dec. 10 for a festive “mocktail” gift basket. For more information about the MHealthy Alcohol Management Program, call 734-998-2017 or go to www.mhealthy.umich.edu/alcohol.

 

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Joe Burman, director of prospect identification and strategies for LSA’s Department of Development, Marketing & Communications, on working at U-M: “I’ve always been a very curious person and I have a job that lets me be curious, so it’s a perfect match.”

EVENTS

Lebanese singing star Assi El Helani, 8-11 p.m. Nov. 6, Hill Auditorium.

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