Drinking alcohol in moderation still important during pandemic

During times of high stress, it’s easy to slip into bad habits, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. wants you to think about how much you’re drinking.

“We want to make sure that our beverage alcohol intake is done so responsibly and in moderation,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council trade group.

Swonger also heads responsibility.org, which promotes responsible consumption and works to combat underage drinking and drunken driving.

“Want to remind those who decide to enjoy alcohol that it is important to do it in moderation, it’s important to have a routine, have a balanced diet, work really hard to exercise,” Swonger said.

“Keep everything in moderation and certainly self-reflect on your alcohol consumption.”


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U.S. dietary guidelines define moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

To help people reflect on their drinking habits, Swonger advised that they consult his organization’s blood alcohol content calculator that’s available as a smartphone app.

“Download the virtual app, the Virtual Bar App, which could guide you to make sure you’re taking an account of how much alcohol you’re consuming,” Swonger said.

If you have concerns about alcohol consumption, he wants you to reach out to your health care provider, who can help you decide whether you need to cut back or quit altogether.

“Certainly when alcohol is abused or you’re consuming alcohol for the wrong reasons — to alleviate stress or what have you — those aren’t good choices,” he said.

Also, it’s just as important to talk with your kids about why they shouldn’t consume alcohol until they’re 21 years old as it is acting as a good role model when drinking.

“Make sure you live by example, and practice that responsibility in what you say and what you do in front of your children,” Swonger said.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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