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Holiday drinking can be hard on your health, but you can take precautions - Source Washington Post

Posted on Dec 19,2012
Filed Under Food And Wine , Local Tastes,

(iStockphoto) - Holiday drinking can be hard on your health, but you can take precautions.

Source Washington Post

By Carolyn Butler

ALEXANDRIA, VA. – ’Tis definitely the season to eat, drink and be merry. Some of us, however, take those festive guidelines a wee bit too seriously — particularly with eggnog, mulled wine, champagne and other alcoholic beverages.

Why do people drink too much during the holidays?

“A lot of traditions at this time of year involve alcohol,” says Fairfax clinical psychologist Diane Hoekstra. “You’re with friends and family who you may not see all the time, and you really want to have a good time, and so you celebrate with a few drinks, which isn’t harmful as long as you’re aware of your limits.” Unfortunately, that can be more difficult when you’re not used to drinking a lot, as well as when you’re guzzling seasonal cocktails that you’re not particularly accustomed to.

“Most of us don’t drink champagne or cognac or eggnog on a regular basis,” explains Daniel Z. Lieberman, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University. “I may know that three to four beers is my limit, but I have no idea what it is with brandy or eggnog, so it’s possible to lose track much more easily.”

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