Body Health

Do you know what a standard drink looks like?

By  | 

standard glassNew research by consumer information programme Cheers! has shown that we don’t know how much we’re pouring – or drinking – and are worryingly underestimating how big a standard drink actually is. Three out of every five Kiwis can pick a standard drink out of a lineup – can you?

Standard drinks – The statistics

– 61% of research participants didn’t know why a standard drink is an important measure and couldn’t identify one from a range of options 38% of the time.
– Adult binge drinkers and parents of teenagers achieved the worst results.
– Women under 30 had the best idea of what a standard drink was and why it was important.
– 10 % of Kiwis haven’t heard of the term ‘standard drink’.
– Only 39% of New Zealanders know, when prompted, that a standard drink is the amount of alcohol an average person can process in one hour.

standard drinkWhat is a standard drink?

A standard drink contains 10g of pure alcohol, which is the amount of alcohol the average person can process in one hour. The standard drink mark is carried on all alcohol packaging and is designed to inform consumers about how many standard drinks are contained in the vessel.

“The simple fact is that if you don’t know how much you’re pouring then you don’t know how much you’re drinking,” says Cheers! Programme Director Jessica Venning-Bryan. “And if you don’t know how your body processes alcohol—that each drink takes an hour to metabolise, and its effects are cumulative—then you’re not in the best position to make good choices, that will keep you safe and social, when you’re drinking.”

It’s also important to note that eating food won’t stop your body absorbing alcohol, so a standard drink is still one standard drink. Any alcohol in your system needs to be processed; food will just help your body process it more effectively.

The standard drinks most commonly underestimated

Most people reckon that a bottle of beer or a full glass of wine counts as one standard drink, right?

standard drink

Wrong. Look at what the research group participants thought:

55% thought that a bottle of 5% alcohol beer was less than or equal to a standard drink. It is in fact 1.3 standard drinks.

31% thought that a full glass of wine was less than or equal to a standard drink. It is in fact 1.5 standard drinks.

27% thought that a 335 ml bottle of an 8% RTD was less than or equal to a standard drink. It is in fact 2.1 standard drinks.

For more information, visit www.cheers.org.nz.

Image / Cheers!


How did your knowledge stack up? Did you know what a standard drink was? Comment below and let us know!

Article brought to you by NZ Real Health

Leave a comment