The country’s chief public health officer has tabled a report to Parliament on alcohol consumption by Canadians, which warns of the potential health risks from even low levels of drinking.

Dr. Gregory Taylor says drinking booze has become a normalized activity, with almost 80 per cent of Canadians tippling wine, beer or spirits – some of them to excess.

Taylor says alcohol consumption is related to more than 4,000 deaths each year, and 230 of them are directly caused by alcohol poisoning.

And each year, about 3,000 babies are born in Canada with fetal alcohol syndrome caused by women drinking during pregnancy; about 330,000 Canadians live with cognitive impairments from the disorder.

The report points out that alcohol is also a known carcinogenic that’s been implicated in the development of breast, colorectal, oral and liver cancers.

Taylor says the purpose of the report is to educate Canadians about alcohol-related health risks.

“We think of alcohol in Canada more as a food or a beverage, but in fact it’s a mind-altering psychotrophic drug,” Taylor said from Ottawa. “If there’s one key message that I’d like to get across, it’s that it’s not harmless.”


Kathleen Wynne joins Ontarians in buying beer at a grocery store
(The Globe and Mail)

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

10 thoughts on “Nearly 80 per cent of Canadians drink alcohol, but not all know risks: report

  1. I do not accept that the aggregate of benefits and negatives for very low levels of alcohol consumption is negative.

    Not to discount the obvious risks of overindulging, impaired driving, drinking while pregnant…..bu­t there are also some benefits to a glass of wine or a beer.

    I could write an article that lists the negative side of automobile use in much the same way: the expense of buying, maintaining, fueling cars, the cost of roads, the cost to the environment are all negative.

    However, only a fool would leave out the value of transporting people and goods.

    Is he really saying there are no beneficial aspects to moderate alcohol consumption?

  2. This article is like…40 years late!

    The heavest drinking in Canada happened between 1945 and 1990. Baby boomers were the biggest drinkers, followed by Gen X.

    After the early 90’s drinking decreased significantly.

    Before 1990, pubs, bars (those that served food) and restaurants made 2/3’s of their income (+) off of booze sales. By the mid-90’s this has switched where 2/3’s of the income made by locations that sold booze and food, was made from food. Alcohol sales since then have had a steady decline.

    The biggest drinkers in Canada at any time are now 45-80 years of age.

    This declaration is 40 years late. It’s not 1976, it’s 2016. Young people have a plethora of drug choices and energy drink choices to choose from over alcohol.

  3. Mr-“Dr. Gregory Taylor says drinking booze has become a normalized activity”

    Wow, who would have thunk.

    Considering that wine was consumed by Jesus at the Last Supper over two thousand years ago and has been part of nearly every culture ever since…

    I think we need a new public health officer. This guy is coming to terms with realizations made nearly two thousand years ago and tabling this as a report to Parliament? Does he not realize that Canada became a Confederation on board a ship putting around the St. Lawrence with fifty cases of champagne? Without alcohol it’s quite possible that Canada and Parliament would never exist.

    This isn’t something shocking or new. This is literally ancient history.

  4. One of the issues heavy drinkers have (other than drinking too much) is with their diet which just compounds the effects of alcohol on the body. Eating food rich in protein will not only make you drink less because you feel less hungry it will help your liver process the alcohol and help you recover quicker with less of a hungover.

    My anecdotal evidence is my grandfather and his brother ~ they both drunk heavily since their mid twenties. My grandfather ate barely anything and died at 56 with liver failure, his younger brother who eats well is still alive and drinks heavily at 78 (with a couple of bypasses and signs of dementia).

  5. kai2.Dr. Taylor looks like he could use a drink.

    Come on – let’s get off this abstinence train that the medical establishment seems to be on these days. Sure, one needs to use some self-control, but really, people have always drank and this isn’t going to change any time soon (no matter how preachy the med establishment gets).

  6. Olivier Ameisen was a brilliant cardiologist until alcoholism took over his life. None of the available treatments were enough to keep him away from the bottle. It was out of desperation that he took an unconventional tack — experimenting on himself with baclofen, a muscle relaxant that had shown promising results in tests on addicted lab animals. Ameisen upped his dose gradually until he reached a level where his alcohol cravings simply evaporated. He tells the tale in his 2009 book, Heal Thyself.

  7. hmmmm, sounds like we’ll need to keep the liquor control boards in place after all… did they underwrite the study… or did that possibility not occur to the keen reporters at.. eeerrr who cares …

  8. $4000 thousand lives lost a year out of a population of 36 million. Big deal. Why must we use these scare tactics? How many do we lose in sporting accidents? Shall educate those sporting people or just ban sports?

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