Sometimes the Allentown Health Examiner resorts to off-beat tactics to discuss health topics. On this occasion, the Examiner takes advantage of two recent sightings of celebrity singer Justin Bieber holding what appear to be open bottles of Dos Equis beer, despite the fact that he is only nineteen years old, in order to write about the negative consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages.
In July 2013, Bieber was spotted at a party with Selena Gomez (and a beer) at an acquaintance's Hollywood Hills house. On October 18, 2013, Bieber was seen again holding an open bottle of what appeared to be Dos Equis -- the same beer, indicating that he may be a habitual beer drinker with a preference for one particular brand -- at a strip club in Houston, Texas. No US state currently has a drinking age below 21, so if Bieber was imbibing, he was breaking the law.
The law, however, is not the particular concern of the Allentown Health Examiner. Today, this column examines some of the negative consequences of drinking alcohol, in the hope that teens will see Bieber as a sort of reverse role model -- someone whose negative behavior should be avoided, rather than emulated.
Drinking alcohol can be dangerous, even for those who do it legally. A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health demonstrates that "Young adults gaining legal access to alcohol incur increases in hospital-based care for a range of serious alcohol-related conditions." Drinking alcohol can be even more dangerous when it is done in excess. According to a recent study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, "the majority of all alcohol-attributable deaths among women and men [in Denmark] were caused by high consumption [more than 14 drinks per week for women, or more than 21 per week for men]."
Alcohol consumption can be dangerous in the short term. A study published in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of Laryngology and Otology indicates that "there is an increasing trend in the number of women sustaining nasal fractures in the UK. The cause [...] could be partially attributed to a rise in ladette culture." The researchers note, "Future research on the role of alcohol consumption in this phenomenon is needed."
Alcohol consumption can also be dangerous over the long term. According to recently published research in the Journal of Cytology, "alcohol consumption produce[s] alteration in apparently normal buccal mucosal cells, which may cumulatively lead to carcinomatous changes." In other words, in the long run, drinking alcohol can contribute to mouth cancer.
Overdoing it with alcohol can result in serious illness requiring hospitalization. According to an analysis of patients at three academic hospitals in Korea, alcohol consumption was involved in roughly one of every four cases of acute toxic poisoning. The Allentown Health Examiner hopes that Bieber and his fans take a look at these pieces of scientific research and realize that making poor choices about alcohol consumption could make them one of these statistics.