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Beer, schnapps or wine: alcohol content in grams instead of percent?


Gram instead of percent: the alcohol content should be changed
A few glasses of wine or beer will not be that bad, many think. But alcohol can affect the senses even in very small amounts. A doctor now demands that the alcohol content is no longer given in percent, but in grams. That would make it easier to calculate how much you have.

Hardly a convivial round without alcohol
According to a survey, almost every second man drinks his after-work beer. Social gatherings with friends, visits to the Christmas market or company parties usually go hand in hand with drinking a few glasses of beer or wine. Especially now in the cold season, your own car is increasingly used as a means of transport. Many are not aware of how quickly - even a little - alcohol can work. An expert wants to simplify the calculation of the alcohol level.

Health-endangering consumption
“Overall, at least ten percent of the population drink enough alcohol to endanger their health. Alcohol problems are therefore one of the most widespread health problems ”, the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) writes on its website.

According to the experts, sustained high alcohol consumption can damage all organs of the body. Alcoholism increases the risk of numerous diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, heart failure, fatty liver, nerve damage or various types of cancer such as colon cancer.

Even small amounts affect the ability to drive
In addition, alcohol affects our senses, even with small amounts. Many people think that one or two glasses of beer or mulled wine do not damage their ability to drive, but: "Far from it," says Gernot Rücker, emergency doctor at Rostock University Medical Center. In a message from the dpa news agency, the expert explains why it would be better to state the alcohol content in grams.

Amount of alcohol in grams
His gram table shows that two bottles of 0.5 liter beer lead to more than 0.5 per thousand for a 100-kilogram man - an administrative offense under the Road Traffic Act. And in a woman with 60 kilos, two glasses of red wine with twelve percent by volume bring a value of around one per thousand blood alcohol concentration (BAK).

The current usual value for alcoholic beverages in volume percent indicates what percentage of the total volume is for pure alcohol (ethanol). But to calculate the blood alcohol level, the amount of alcohol in grams is needed. There are now numerous per mille calculators for this on the Internet.

According to Rücker, such a calculation would be very simple with a direct specification of the amount of alcohol in grams. He therefore demands that the amount of alcohol per bottle be given in the future. According to the expert, the associated table values ​​are easy to memorize and remain constant.

Teenagers in particular should know what they are doing to themselves. "And that is possible with gram information and knowledge of the table values. Sitting in the pub and calculating a set of three with a stranger is illogical. "

Moderate use of alcohol
Rücker explains in the dpa report: “Every year around 70,000 people die from the consequences of alcohol consumption, 5,000 from acute alcohol poisoning. And almost a third of all crimes and most of the rapes happen under the influence of alcohol. ”

According to the information, German courts withdrew almost 50,000 driver's licenses in 2015 after driving down a mille.

"I have a lot of sympathy for everything that makes it easier for consumers to handle alcohol moderately," explains Marlene Mortler, Drugs Commissioner for Drugs, on Rücker's demand. However, she is skeptical given the high number of people who drink too much.

Whether the labeling actually brings added value depends on additional information on the packaging for calculation depending on gender and body weight.

The BZgA published “Alcohol? Know your limit "good tips that will help you stay" on the alcohol limit ". Among other things, the experts recommend: “Do not drink alcohol quickly. Take your time ”and“ Drink a glass of water or juice spritzer every now and then ”.

Every year a bath full of alcoholic beverages
According to the agency announcement, the Federal Association of the German Spirits Industry refers to the information that manufacturers have to print on the labels. On the website “massvoll-geniessen.de” all other information of interest to the end consumer can be found.

"We assume that consumers will also get comprehensive information off-label," says managing director Angelika Wiesgen-Pick.

Medic Rücker doubts it. According to the BZgA, every German drinks an average of just under ten liters of alcohol a year. Translated into common alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine, this is about a bath full. According to the doctor, people have forgotten how to distinguish between stimulants and intoxicants. "We are out of measure." (Ad)

Author and source information


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