Make what you want of this

A US medical organisation has inexplicably decided to divide drinkers into four different categories, as if we were all degenerates

ANDREW J. LINN

A usually credible US medical organisation has taken it upon itself to categorise drinkers into four separate groups, according to their motives for opening a bottle.

How such judgmental rubbish ever got into the public domain is not a reasonable question, given that anything can be published these days, with the help of the internet. In this case, the organisation's website advises that there are several types of drinkers, but essentially that we are all degenerates.

Into one category go the celebratory drinkers, who use any excuse to party into oblivion; in another are those who drink to fit in with their fellows but don't really like the stuff. In other words, they go to a party and drink wine all evening when they would really prefer a soft drink. Really?

Moderate or light drinkers are those who go for long periods without a whiff of alcohol, but may binge after their first taste. In other words, recovering alcoholics.

The remaining category classes people as 'heavy drinkers', encompassing those who drink in quantity and regularly, addicts no less, needing large quantities of booze to get into the mood, and who allegedly have a history of ruined relationships, poor health and work problems.

A fair judgement?

While there may be some truth is all this, many of us drink because we love trying different wines and experimenting with new tasting experiences according to what we are eating. Most sensible and intelligent regular imbibers enjoy what is one of the oldest social customs known to humanity that has been proved to lengthen lives through the mere act of fostering social relationships and closeness.