Is four beers a binge?

Is four beers a binge?

Debate is currently raging over reports that new drinking guidelines for Australia will define binge drinking as more than four mid-sized alcoholic drinks a day for men. The official healthy upper limit for both men and women is two standard drinks a day, which seems reasonable, but the leap to “binge status” with just two more drinks a day, though unconfirmed, has inspired plenty of criticism. It seems clear that someone consuming more than four drinks day in, day out probably has a problem, but does having four beers on a Friday night make you a binge drinker? What do you think would be reasonable? Let us know in the comments.


  • I think its ridiculous. 4 midi’s for me wont even touch the sides (I’m a big guy) but 4 midi’s for my 60kg brother in law will almost kill the guy. So why do we both get classed as ‘binge drinking’ if we go out and have a few (because, in my opinion, a ‘few’ is what four is)?

    Its simply a scare tactic.

  • I’m originally from the UK and so drinking 4 pints on a Friday evening is considered a quiet night! So just 4 mid-sized beers being classed as a binge seems slightly silly to, to me at least.

  • 4 beers every single day is alcoholism, no matter which way you cut it. No one ever *needs* to drink that much every day, nor should. While it may be easier for some people to consume that much, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
    And while I agree it should not be necessarily considered bingeing, it’s still enough to be considered alcoholism.

  • Yes but Digitalus, what you fail to understand is that according to the article, if you drink 5 beers on a Friday night (having drunk no alcohol all week say) then you have just “binged”, which is ludicrous. And when did the wowsers take over? When did alcohol become a dirty word? Like this new premixed drink tax, or as they call them “alcopops”. WTF is an “alcopop”? I don’t drink “alcopops”. I used to have a few bourbon and cokes in a can if going to a barbie as they were convenient and I could monitor how much alcohol I had, but I never thought “I’ll just head down to the bottle o and grab some alcopops!” Maybe I should just take up cocaine as that doesn’t seem as much of a national crisis as grog is at the moment.

  • simple, its not! its Rudd’s Neo-conservative-lets-attack-everybody policy. Its frankly ludicrous at best, sure plenty of people myself included enjoy getting paralytic on Saturday night and going clubbing, but we are not not drinking every night!

  • What people fail to understand is that the term “Binge drinking” is not a social term but a medical one. A person who is a binge drinker has an alcohol content that INCREASES their RISK of harm to the body.

    As a GP in a small country town I see that 6-7 drinks can be standard per a night to “take the edge off”, but a risk of alcohol has been shown to begin after 2nd drink.

    This whole debate is merely political foreplay in actually addressing social problems with drinking in this country. And as a start there needs to be a standardised definition that 4 STANDARD drinks will INCREASE RISK of harm to ones self. There is nothing wrong with binge drinking (as opposed to being drunk) only that you cause harm to yourself if you choose to do so.

  • w00t i’m now considered a binge drinking during exam period (and practically every time outside it also). Yet my doctor says I have the healthiest liver he has ever seen… all the more evidence to support my hypothesis that the Australian government hates it’s citizenry and want to stamp out all fun. (legalise drugs already for crying out loud, if you let cigarettes in, you might as well let the drug with the lowest known ld50 in as well [I’m speaking of course of albert hoffman’s problem child] it would make earthcore much easier for us to enjoy.)
    FITZMD: it’s the citizenry’s choice to binge drink, it is not the government’s place to enforce judgement on our behaviour. They are supposedly our representatives, let them finally act like it.

  • RED MAN: it’s easy to say that it is every individual for them self but the issue is not that clear cut. But that was not my point!

    My argument is that the government has a medical responsibility to give people access to information in order to allow THEM to make a choice.

    In this case scientist and medicos have been giving the information that alcohol can cause harm and they have been doing that for years now. The next step is the when a greater body such as the government helps distribute such information. A starting point is by getting a definition for binge drinking.

    The same thing happened with smoking when the government aired antismoking ads, many thought it was political interference. But it actually is just information being given. I would only start to criticise the government when they actually bring in laws limiting consumption based on health.

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