From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Czech Health Leader Protests Against "Beer Marathon"

Date 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 
"Beer Marathon"

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 
24-hour period.

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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