Actor Stanley Tucci, 59 and buff in a black Polo, was perhaps speaking for millions when he said, “What you want is a double-shot of gin,” in a recent video demonstration of making a cocktail while quarantined.
We’re drinking more during the pandemic because of anxiety, isolation, and boredom, experts say. Sales of spirits, beer and wine in the US and in Europe shot up during lockdowns. Some health experts worry that increased alcohol consumption could lead to problems including alcoholism for some people.
Alcohol affects people differently later in life, and abuse can contribute to a range of age-related health issues – including memory loss and brain damage. Drinking is a factor in 60 percent of falls, says the National Institutes of Health. It hits mature women harder than it does men.
Now, a US government committee is changing its recommendations on consumption. The panel says men should have no more than one drink a day. That’s down from the current two drinks per day for men; the recommendation for women stays at one.
Deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dozens more alcohol-related conditions are higher for men tipping back two than just one, the committee says.
US drinking has risen for 20 years, says the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Sales are almost 25 percent higher since Covid-19 hit compared to the same timeframe in 2019.
The government will issue its final recommendations toward the end of the year.