A toast to the last #FireballFriday of 2014!

Fireball Friday

In the long term, excessive alcohol can make it difficult to conceive – See more at: http://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body#sthash.dInAE09c.dpuf

The secret of good health? Here’s what the doctors say..No3

The Irish Times asked three influential doctors for their view;

Dr Karena Hanley, GP in Rathmullan Co Donegal, chair of the Postgraduate Training Committee in the Irish College of General Practitioners.

1. Don’t just exercise, stretch: While Irish people have improved vastly in the amount of exercise they take, such as walking, running or cycling, stretching has been somewhat forgotten. The scourges of osteoarthritis and degenerative conditions of the hips, neck and spine can be much reduced by good posture and regular stretching. Pliates, Tai-Chi, yoga, swimming or any set of exercises you remember from sports training days that move most of the joints through their range of movement are good. If you have an illness, injury or already suffer arthritis, your physiotherapist will give appropriate advice.

2. Make fresh fruit and vegetables the centre of your diet: Less fat, less sugar, more fibre, less salt, low cholesterol, less meat, less carbohydrate….. you’ve heard it all and it can get so confusing. Yet you shouldn’t have a diet that spurns fruit and vegetables. Keep it simple, and ensure your shopping trolley contains more fruit and vegetables than any other edible.

3. Focus more on a good lifestyle than on health checks: The BMJ editorial in their recent July 9th edition is entitled “General health checks don’t work”. There are some national screening programmes which are based on good evidence, such as cervical screening, bowel check and breast screening, and I don’t at all dissuade people from using proven health checks. But this editorial actually stated, based on evidence from a Cochrane review in 2012 and the Inter99 trial, that “doctors should not offer general health checks to their patients, and governments should abstain from introducing health check programmes”.

4. The benefits of stopping smoking may be greater than you realised: Once you have stopped smoking for two years, your cardiovascular risk is the same as someone who has never smoked. If you can stop smoking before your 40th birthday, it is unlikely that smoking will cause your death. While we understand how difficult it is to stop, a few practical tips help. My favourite is the three Ds to cope with the three minutes of acute withdrawal (which is as long as it lasts)- take Deep breaths, Distract yourself, or Drink a glass of water.

5. Exercise is the key to maintaining all systems: For good mental health, get out under the big sky! To quote Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant, “if exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented “.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/the-secret-of-good-health-here-s-what-the-doctors-say-1.1974370?page=3

Fire Eater, a new heavy alcohol drink aimed at youths!

An article in the latest issue of Marketing.ie describes how RED C Research undertook a product test for Brown Forman’s new Fire Eater brand.

The research company ran tastings and focus groups to test the appeal for Early Times Fire Eater, a 35% heavy alcohol/ethanol American whiskey liqueur, flavoured with brown sugar and cinnamon.

According to Red C;

The key market for the new product was the “pre-drinking” or “prinking” among 18-24 year olds. A typical pub product test would not work. To replicate the “prinking” and for respondents to consume the product in as natural environment as possible, we recruited young drinkers to host in-home parties, invite their friends over and sample the drink as they would do on a typical social night.

Initial reaction to the product was captured through video and photos recorded by those at the party. They were uploaded to the Red C portal to give reaction to the product captured in the right environment. The flow of the night was left to the participants to decide, allowing for natural behaviour to develop. All of this allowed for valuable insights into the ritual and behaviour during“prinks”

The Urban Dictionary defines Prinking or Pre-Drinking as;

 The act in which one consumes alcohol prior to attending an event at which alcoholic beverages may or may not be served. Often popular with university or college students who can’t afford to buy too many drinks at a bar.  Or high school kids who plan to attend events such as dances.

Brown Forman, already well armed with Jack Daniels, a big seller in the pubs among the young, are lining up another heavy alcohol product. This time aimed at youths, a younger sector than that for Jack Daniels

A question for Brown Forman; How does the strategy of targeting 18-24 year olds with sweetened heavy alcohol fit in with your Corporate responsibility philosophy regarding alcohol abuse among the young?

Questions for Red C

  1. Was there a limit on how much heavy alcohol the young drinkers could consume at the in-home parties?
  2. Was there anyone younger than 18 at these parties?
  3. Boys and girls, was it an equal split?
  4. The ritual and behaviour during “Prinks”, what sort of behaviour is that?
  5. How ethical is this form of research
  6. Does Red C have a code of Corporate Responsibility for research?

Enjoy Heineken Responsibly

The match has started, lads are in the pub, just made it

There y’are Lar.  What kept ya? Its your round

Oh right. Barman, 5 pints of Heineken please

First pint goes down easy. The second is in hand. That’s better

Can relax now, enjoy the game. Half time, nil all

Third pint arrives, chatting away, lads are in great form. Nice girls too

This is great, need it to get away from things

Laughing, kidding, having the banter. Can’t stop

Hey Lar, its your round.

Again? Barman, same again 5 pints of Heineken

Game over, who won? What’s goin on? Lar we’re goin to Diceys, you comin?

No can’t, have to go home.

Jayz I’m in a right state. She’ll kill me

How many pints did we have?

Drove up, was in a rush. Spent the taxi money.

What now??

Morgans spiced up heavy alcohol

Morgan order

Warm, smooth, comforting. The consumer could be  fooled

Don’t be

This is an advert for a bottle of heavy alcohol/ethanol

The ABV reference on the label is deliberately excluded from the advert

Captain Morgans spiced up rum is 37.5% alcohol/ethanol

This information is witheld from the consumer

Alcohol/ethanol is a toxic, addictive, psychoactive drug

Heavy alcohol is a great danger to your health

Be aware of this. Steer clear

The French Paradox, vitamin K2 the key

The French Paradox, the claim the French lived longer than Americans because they drink more red wine was put forward by Dr Serge Renaud in the 1990’s. He said red wine had nutrients like resveratrol which helped reduce heart disease. Even though the French had  more dairy products like cheese, in their diet

This claim has since been debunked because you would have to drink so much red wine to get enough of these nutrients, to increase the risk  of other diseases like cirrhosis. The research did highlight the presence of vitamin K2 in the French diet.  Vitamin K2 is a known factor in reduced levels of heart disease. The vitamin is to be found in green leafy vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products.

The French diet is rich in vitamin K2

In her 2012 book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, Canadian nutritionist Kate Rhéume-Bleue proposes that the explanation for the lower rate of cardiovascular disease in France is the high level of vitamin K2 (also known as menaquinone) in some of the fattier foods that form a part of the French diet. Lack of vitamin K2 in the diet is linked to increased calcification of plaques in artery walls.

Rhéume-Bleue writes,

The French Paradox isn’t a paradox at all. The very same pâté de foie gras, egg yolks and creamy, buttery sauces that we inaccurately labeled “heart attack on a plate“ literally supply the single most important nutrient to protect heart health.[23]

As one example, Rhéume-Bleue points to the fact that a 3 ½-ounce serving of goose liver pate contains 369 micrograms of menaquinone, while a 3 ½-ounce serving of pan-fried calf liver of the kind frequently eaten in North America contains only 6 micrograms of menaquinone.[24]

The French diet is rich in short-chain saturated fatty acids and poor in trans fats

In his 2009 book Cholesterol and The French Paradox, Frank Cooper argues that the French paradox is due to the lack of hydrogenated and trans fats in the French diet.[25] The French diet is based on natural saturated fats such as butter, cheese and cream that the human body finds easy to metabolize, because they are rich in shorter saturated fatty acids ranging from the 4-carbon butyric acid to the 16-carbon palmitic acid. But the American diet includes greater amounts saturated fats made via hydrogenating vegetable oils which include longer 18- and 20-carbon fatty acids. In addition, these hydrogenated fats include small quantities of trans fats which may have associated health risks.[26][27][28]