Ran across two great blog posts on Medscape. Wish I could take the credit for these but I think sharing is more important. The first post reviews a quick screening tool for early alcohol dependance trends in teenagers and young adults. Considering all the clandestine underage drinking that we all have “allegedly” participated in at some point or another, this post succinctly notes that the frequency of drinking in the past year can be a critical clue to prevent alcohol-related problems in young adults. The paper written by Chung et al in Pediatrics 2012 went so far as to recommend age-specific cut points for both moderate- and high-risk outcome users to maximize screening performance. This information draws a line in the sand. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the full article yet. So all you concerned parents can start by asking your beloved and presumed teetotaler how often they are not drinking and follow up with your friendly neighborhood pediatrician (1,2)
The next piece provides yet another chalk mark on the board for healthy beverage choices. Not surprisingly, the American Beverage Association is advertising their effort to change their ways amidst campaigns like the sugar tax that attempt to address the exploding cost of treating the ever-growing list of related diseases to the tune of over $150 billion–that’s a 2008 estimation (4). It’s just soda, right?! High fructose corn syrup adds a healthy dose of pro-inflammatory chemicals in your gut. Advanced-glycation end products contribute to increased visceral fat. The combination of the two contribute to insulin resistance and other suspected metabolic changes paving the way to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (3,4). One can a day will not keep the doctor away. Sadly, moderate consumption of this apparently harmless yet tasty beverage can increase the risk of heart disease by 20%. By the way, that figure is adjusted for risk factors that might have artificially increased the final percentage (3). Lets face it, people in the real world do not live in a vacuum and likely have at least one if not more risk factors. This state of affairs spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. But fret not, you can choose to live better. So be like NIKE and just do it.
2. Chung T, Smith GT, Donovan JE, et al. Drinking frequency as a brief screen for adolescent alcohol problems.Pediatrics. 2012;129:205-212. Abstract
4. Moran, Barbara. Why We Are Fat. Bostonia 2012:1