Curbing drinking with ridicule
The best way to persuade middle-aged people to cut down on their drinking isn’t to warn them about the health implications—it’s to tell them they’re embarrassing themselves. That’s the conclusion of a new study that looked at responses about alcohol consumption from 13 previous scientific papers, reports CNN.com. The impact of alcohol on health was described as “a minor concern or not considered at all” by people ages 30 to 65 who were included in those papers. Most of them felt that their drinking wasn’t a problem so long as they could still meet their day-to-day responsibilities, and that their behavior remained socially acceptable. For them, signs that they had overdone it included slurred speech, vomiting, and an unsteady gait. “We knew very little about the decision-making processes that go into the alcohol consumption of middle-age drinkers,” says lead researcher Emma Muhlack. The results from this review, she adds, may help health authorities create more effective anti-drinking ad campaigns.