Posts tagged with "Drinking"

Trump denies reports that he is limiting the FBI’s Kavanaugh probe

October 2, 2018

Following a compromise deal made on September 28 by the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to a request by Republican Senator Jeff Flake (R), the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reopened its background investigation of SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Already limited to a one-week period, the probe has been further circumscribed by instructions from U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a report by the Huffington Post.

Although the FBI will be permitted to interview Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, who testified before the Judiciary Committee last week—as well as  a second accuser, Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate Denise Ramirez— the agency will reportedly leave the nominee’s third accuser alone upon request from the White House.

In addition, according to an NBC News report, the FBI will specifically not be able to question Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates about his drinking habits, even though alcohol plays a role in all three accusers’ claims about the nominee, who denies ever drinking to the point of not remembering certain events.

Ranking Member of the committee Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California.) lashed out on Twitter at the possibility that constraints had been placed on the investigation

Trump tweeted late Saturday night that he was not limiting the FBI in its investigation and that NBC News had got the story wrong. He said, “NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!

Trump told reporters on Saturday that the agency has “free rein” to do “whatever they have to do, whatever it is they do.”

“They’ll be doing things that we have never even thought of,” Trump said. “And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine.”

Research contactsara.boboltz@huffingtonpost.com

You ‘just may be toast’ if you drink to someone’s health

August 30, 2018

If you drink the wine or spirits that you are using to propose a toast, you” just may be toast,” based on findings of study published in The Lancet  on August 23 and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As the Daily Beast reported this week, researchers at the University of Washington-Seattle, along with global collaborators, have established that the only safe amount of alcohol is no alcohol—which might be confusing since you’ve probably heard about the antioxidants in wine, or how beer is supposedly good for your gut.

The researchers did a meta-analysis of 694 data sets collected between 1990 and 2016 on alcohol consumption; as well as 592 studies on the health risks of alcohol use.

The study posted on The Lancet found that consuming 10 grams of alcohol (about half a shot) per day was the leading risk for death and disease for both men and women between the ages of 15 and 49.

In fact, they concluded that alcohol is the source of one in 10 deaths around the world, killing an estimated 2.8 million people globally in the 25+-year time period.

“The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally,” senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluationtold CNN on August 24. “We’re used to hearing that a drink or two a day is fine. But the evidence is the evidence.”

This certainly isn’t the first time that alcohol has been associated with health problems. But it’s not necessarily the final word for those trying to figure out if a glass of rosé at dinner every night is a good or bad idea.

The analysis finds that alcohol is a contributor to various conditions and diseases that can lead to death. For one thing, alcohol use has been associated with a weaker immune system, which can affect the body’s ability to fight cancer. In other words, the study doesn’t claim that drinking alcohol in moderation will kill you; it’s simply associated with death and disease.

And that’s key because alcohol consumption—when controlled—has been shown in some other reputable studies to potentially be helpful, particularly when it comes to wine. Moderate drinking has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks,

As David Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, told CNN for the same story: “Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention. There is no safe level of driving, but governments do not recommend that people avoid driving. Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention.”

Gakidou told CNN that she was aware of the studies that showed better health with moderate drinking, but believed strongly that alcohol was almost universally a problematic health issue.

“We, to,o found some protective effects for Type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease at low levels of alcohol consumption,” she told CNN. “But those benefits are outweighed by the overall adverse health impact of alcohol, even at moderate levels.”

Since current research hasn’t settled the matter, one course of action is to follow the guidelines set by the U.S. government. That’s one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men with no binge-drinking. And if you don’t drink? Keep up the good work.

Research contact: gakidou@uw.edu

Do you drink on first dates?

June 28, 2018

Going on a first date can be a daunting experience. It’s the rule (not the exception) to worry that your outfit is all wrong, that your armpits will get sweaty, or that you won’t know what to say. As a result, more than a few singles say they have sipped some “liquid courage” before that special someone arrives.

In fact, according to the findings of a 2014 survey conducted by the dating site, Plenty of Fish, over one-third (36.4%) of singles say they have calmed their nerves with a drink in advance of a date—and nearly half (48.9%) say they often drink moderately during an initial night out. Just 9.2% of respondents draw the line at drinking on a first encounter and, instead, brave any awkwardness without chemical alterations.

But, if you drink, what should you ask for? The researchers found that 26.6% of men think that “the most attractive drink” for their date to order is red wine, while 23.3% of women appreciate it when their date orders a pint of craft beer.

Of course, it’s easier to drink, if you are in the right surroundings. According to a poll by BuzzFeed, 28% of respondents preferred dinner at a romantic restaurant on a first date; 20%, a night at a theme park; and 18%, either the movies or dinner in and a DVD.

What if the night’s going really well, and you decide to make it last a few more hours? The Plenty of Fish survey found that 19.1% of single men have actually gotten drunk on a first date — and so have 16.8% of women. It’s not always a good look, but, hey, it happens.

Either way, it’s a crapshoot—at least that’s what Princeton University psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov discovered in 2006.  It only takes a tenth of a second to form a first impression. And it doesn’t matter how funny your jokes are or whether or not you offer to pay for dinner. Longer exposure can’t alter how your date saw you when they first cast their (no doubt impeccably bespectacled) eyes in your direction.

Research contact: @PlentyOfFish