New App Shows How Drinking Prematurely Ages Us

02/01/2013

 

Photo Credit: Stockbyte
Photo Credit: Stockbyte
It’s called the Drink Mirror and it’s a new free app that the Scottish government is putting out in an effort to curb excessive drinking. The government wants to draw a line in the sand showing the difference between social drinking and excessive drinking, according to The Washington Post.

 

The app allows you to upload or snap a picture of yourself and then enter your drinking habits. If you drinking excessively, the app illustrates how your excessive drinking could cause premature aging in the form of weight gain, dull skin, wrinkles, and red cheeks. It’s a great wake up call for those that are binge drinking long into adulthood. 

The Numbers

According to the app, "[W]omen shouldn't regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day and men, 3-4. Aim to have at least two alcohol-free days a week." One glass of wine is considered 2 units and one beer is 2.8 units.

It’s an issue that's shown its ugly face in the United States as well where one glass is considered safe for a women and two glasses for men, who are better able to metabolize alcohol. Anything more than this is considered excessive drinking. The CDC considers binge drinking 4 drinks for a women and 5 for a man in a short period of time.

In the U.S. the highest percentage of binge drinkers are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old and those over 65 binge drank the most often. Those with income levels of at least $75,000 per year were the most likely to binge drink. These numbers show us that not only are we drinking a lot, we’re drinking all the time.

The Cost

According to a report from the CDC, reported on Live Science, in 2006 alone binge drinking cost our country $223.5 billion; that’s about $1.90 for each alcoholic beverage consumed. 

Loss in workplace productivity accounted for an astounding 72 percent of the total cost loss followed by healthcare costs with 11 percent, law enforcement with 9 percent, and alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents with 6 percent.

 

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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