Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wine not? Thanksgiving alcohol widening waistlines as much as turkey

Many Americans worry about the food coma or the extra calories from that green Jello stuff or slab of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day. Put down the extra glass of wine and save yourself about 200 calories. If you drink a glass of wine before dinner, another glass with dinner and a sweet wine for dessert, that’s more than 400 calories in addition to the meal. If three beers help that dry turkey seem more palatable, that will add an extra 450 calories to the diet.

Alcoholic beverages are considered “food” because they do have calories, but they are mostly empty calories, contributing to the waistline more than they contribute to energy or overall health. The 2007-2010 survey found that on average, 100 calories came from alcoholic drinks.

Pilsener or lager beer usually comes in at around 148 calories in 12 ounces. Drinking light beer, offers about a third fewer, at around 99 calories per 12 ounces. Dry wine contains fewer calories than sweet: 106 calories for five ounces of dry wine and champagnes… double it for five ounces of sweeter wines. If you drink a glass of wine before dinner, another glass with dinner and a sweet wine for dessert, that’s more than 400 calories in addition to the meal.

Liquor calories depend on the proof for whiskey, tequila, gin, rum and vodka. Eighty proof contains 97 calories per shot (1.5 ounces). One hundred proof has 124 calories. How you mix the hard liquors will add calories faster. A whiskey sour will have 122 calories and a gin and tonic has 171 calories, a pina colada, 262 calories, and a large margarita can have as many as 400 calories.

However, by avoiding the alcohol for the holiday gathering, hosts and hostesses do their guests an additional favor aside from helping them manage their waistlines. Alcohol usage spikes throughout the holiday season and so do alcohol-related traffic crashes. Nine of 10 drinking and driving incidents happen after drinking with family, friends or co-workers – common during the holidays. “There is almost always somebody around who could be part of the solution,” says

An average of 45 motorists die in drinking and driving crashes each day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving Day is considered second only to New Year’s when it comes to traffic deaths. Drinking violations increase an average of 54 percent on Thanksgiving. (See related examiner article)

Alcohol use among adults is not the only issue around Thanksgiving Day. Indiana University indicates some grown-ups may feel inclined to “bend the rules” when it comes to minors and drinking alcohol. Adults, including visitors to the home such as uncles, grandparents and older cousins, may bend youth alcohol prohibitions during the holiday season as a treat or gesture of affection setting up a dangerous precedent for future use, with or without parental supervision.

Visit for a replay of the Bringing Inspiration To Earth show feature with Scott Stevens. Lucy Pireel's "All That's Written" included a feature on Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud called "When alcohol doesn't work for you anymore."  Details on the third literary award for Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud also can be found on, plus an interview with Scott Stevens on Health Media Now and one at Christoph Fisher Books.  Mr. Fisher is an acclaimed international author from the UK, among his works is the Alzheimer's book "Time to Let Go."