From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Czech Health Leader Protests Against "Beer Marathon"
08 Apr 2000 02:12:12
April 8, 2000
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland
Czech Adventist Health Leader Protests Against
Prague, Czech Republic. Petr Skrla, Ph.D.,
head of the health department of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church in the Czech Republic, criticised
the public promotion of contests like a recent
"beer marathon," in which contestants competed to
drink the most bottles of 12 percent beer during a
The winner of this contest, which was conducted
during this last weekend in Hora svate Kateriny in
the region of Krusnohorsko, drank 35 bottles of
beer, putting 539 grams of alcohol into his
bloodstream-nearly 27 times the "safe" alcohol
level of 20 grams per day.
"Alcoholism is one of the more serious problems of
our society," said Skrla. "Two out of three
murders, one out of three rapes, one out of three
suicides, two out of five assaults, three out of
five cases of child abuse, one out of two deaths
by fire and drowning, two out of five home
accidents and one out of two motor vehicle
fatalities are connected to the use of alcohol.
Conducting this type of contest and advertising it
in the public media as a serious social matter
justifies the inappropriate consummation of
alcohol among the general public."
The organiser of the contest himself was able to
see first-hand the harmful side-effects of alcohol
consumption, including aggression. In his
interview with the Czech press, he stated, "I have
never heard so much cursing addressed to myself in
my whole life. In one instance I even saw the
flash of a knife."
The Czech Republic has one of the highest levels
of alcohol consumption in the world, and that
level is increasing. "In view of the growing
intake of alcohol in our country, we realise our
responsibility and attempt to do whatever we can
to reverse this trend. This is why our recent
activities are focused especially on fighting this
addiction," Skrla explains.
According to the medical research done in 1995, a
change of lifestyle, particularly an abstinence
from alcohol and other addictions, can prolong the
life of males an average of 11 years and females
seven to eight years.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has promoted an
alcohol-free lifestyle since the Church's
inception in 1863. [Reporter: Bedrich Jetelina]
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