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Ban Alcohol From Supermarkets, Urges New Zealand Medical Authority

New Zealand health officials are urging lawmakers to ban wine and beer sales in supermarkets, saying that alcohol is a “dangerous drug” that has no business being sold alongside food, The Guardian reports. Officials are trying to address the half-million New Zealanders who “consume alcohol in a hazardous way,” the news agency said, and the problem is so severe that some health officials believe it’s worse than methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin. Hard liquor sales are already banned in New Zealand’s grocery stores.

Although I believe the opioid epidemic very nearly rivals alcohol, if not surpasses it, as a problem in the U.S., New Zealand officials are correct in being concerned about the health effects of alcohol. The fact is substance abuse is skyrocketing in the U.S., and that includes alcohol. More than 66 million — nearly 25 percent of the total adolescent and adult population — reported binge drinking at some point in 2015.

The effects of alcohol on your body depends on a number of factors, including your gender, weight and genetic makeup. The smaller you are, the more concentrated your blood alcohol level will be compared to a larger person drinking the same amount. Women, who tend to have more body fat than men, will also tend to be more affected by alcohol, as alcohol is soluble in fat. This is why drinking guidelines are lower for women.

Some adverse effects of even a small amount of alcohol include impaired reasoning and judgment, an increased risk of liver cirrhosis, increased stress on your heart and increased inflammation in your body. Chronic alcohol consumption also disturbs your gut microbiome.

While I don't recommend drinking alcohol, if you do, research has shown that you can mitigate the effects with exercise.
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