Light Drinking Also Deemed Unhealthy

October 10, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. metabolize /məˈtæb əˌlaɪz/ (v.) – to break down food so it can be used by the body
Example: Eating papayas aids in fighting constipation as it helps metabolize the food we eat.

2. binge /bɪndʒ/ (n.) – a brief period when one eats or drinks too much
Example: Let’s go on a food binge and eat all we can eat!

3. sober /ˈsoʊ bər/ (adj.) – not being drunk; sane
Example: He managed to remain sober even after drinking six bottles of alcohol.

4. reliance /rɪˈlaɪ əns/ (n.) – a state in which one needs the support of someone or something else
Example: His father’s reliance on alcohol is very frightening.

5. skeptical /ˈskɛptɪkəl/ (adj.) – doubtful about something
Example: Experts remain skeptical about the new research because of its controversial results.


Read the text below.
While light drinking is known to benefit one’s health, a new research suggests that it may actually be unhealthy.

Recently published at the online portal British Medical Journal, the study is a compilation of 50 previous researches about the drinking habits of participants of European descent. It took into consideration the enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase [dee-HAHY-druh-juh-neys, -neyz] 1B (ADH1B), which is known to metabolize alcohol compounds such as ethanol and retinol.

The study revealed that reducing alcohol consumption, whether a person is a hard, moderate, or even a light drinker, also reduces the chances of having cardiovascular problems. Moreover, less intake of alcohol also helps maintain and even reduce weight.

The research also stressed that people with ADH1B consume fewer alcohol than those without the enzyme–the reason why drinking binge is less likely. They also have lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. In addition, people with ADH1B are less likely to have coronary heart disease.

According to Juan Casas, epidemiology professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, drinking less alcoholic beverages is still more beneficial, even if a person stays sober after a low level of consumption.

On another note, other people remain skeptical about the research, as it was based only on statistics. Reliance on ADH1B might make the findings applicable only to those who have the enzyme. Nonetheless, experts acknowledge that the research has done its job to impress and keep people interested.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that even light drinking may be unhealthy? Why or why not?
·         Do you believe that alcohol-drinking can lessen chances of having diseases? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How could alcohol affect one’s behavior?
·         How can people avoid becoming alcoholic?

October 10, 2014