Cranberry cocktail served on winter holidays

Think before you drink during the holidays

Do you drink alcohol during the holidays?

For about 70 percent of adults, that’s just part of celebrating the season.1

Maybe you go out to eat during the holidays and order beer or wine from the menu. Maybe you attend a holiday party and drink beer and alcohol. Or maybe a little wine to wind down at night is already part of your daily routine.

Sound familiar? The holidays may be a popular time to drink alcohol. But even one drink comes with some risk.

If you’re thinking about diet or weight loss in the new year, think about this…

  • Alcohol is loaded with empty calories
  • Alcohol stimulates appetite
  • Consuming alcohol can lead to weight gain

Alcohol also interferes with judgement, decision making, and reaction times. An estimated 50 percent of all driving-related accidents are linked to alcohol.

About one-third of all adults don’t drink alcohol, which is the best way to prevent alcohol-related problems. If you do drink, consider what happens when you mix alcohol and the holidays:

  • 6 minutes. Time it takes for ONE drink to impair the brain
  • 6 to 9 hours. Average number of hours it takes for the effects of alcohol to wear off
  • 33% of suicides during the holidays involve alcohol
  • 37% of all highway deaths on Christmas linked to alcohol
  • 58% of all highway deaths on New Year’s linked to alcohol
  • 155% increase in alcohol-caused driving offenses on New Year’s Eve
  • 25,000+ people injured in traffic crashes caused by alcohol during the holidays

Avoid or Limit Alcohol

If alcohol is part of the way you celebrate the holidays, drink responsibly. Follow these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.2

What is a standard drink?

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

For best health, avoid alcohol. If you choose to drink, follow these guidelines:

  • Women: No more than 1 drink per day. Zero if pregnant.
  • Men: No more than 2 drinks per day if under age 65.
  • Seniors: No more than 1 drink daily for people age 65 and older.

If drinking alcohol is part of the way you celebrate the holidays, be smart about it. Or try sparkling cider, flavored tonic water, or non-alcoholic drinks instead.

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