The media loves a good health scare to attempt to worry the nation into a frenzy. Tell me please Mr Newspaper, what may I eat, drink, smell, see today which may kill me? If they all are to be believed we would be existing on a diet of brown rice, (cooked in water from a bottle which wont leak chemicals) from a saucepan which wont leak metallic particles into our boring culinary experience. Ok so I may be being a little sarcastic here, just a tincy wincy little bit.
There was a very amusing discussion about the latest of these scares this morning at coffee after the 9.30 service. Half a dozen of our congregation were sharing the news that over 65s should limit their alcohol consumption drastically. A number in the group were debating whether they should guzzle merrily this year because they would soon turn the magic age of 65, when the would need to cut back on their alcohol consumption! Many more were sharing stories of elderly people they new who got through tankers of Guinness a week and followed that with a whisky chaser as a night-cap and yet lived to their eighth or ninth decade. Interestingly when I googled the story, the top two reports were from the Daily Mail (that well known medical journal). On closer inspection it appears that the suggested intake of 1.5 units for men and 1 for women over 65 has come about because of a concern about 'hidden addicts', over 65s with alcohol dependency issues. This is surely a whole other topic, guidelines don't cure addicts!
Anyway, I and many others will no doubt continue to take the media's scares with a large pinch of low sodium salt, and use common sense, medical advise and the world health organisation to help each and every one of us decide our own risk factors.