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You're Cut Off

You're Cut Off

Mmm, that margarita probably tastes delicious, but did you ever wonder exactly how much alcohol is in there?

Just as it's tough to determine the amount of calories in your favorite dish at a restaurant, researchers are finding consumers are also having a difficult time determining the percentage of alcohol in a drink. But that may not be your fault, because the bartender may be serving you more than you think.

There are no laws that force establishments to post information about beverage sizes and alcohol content, so drinkers often assume that the typical U.S. alcoholic beverage averages around 0.6 ounces of alcohol. But just LOOK at that margarita in your hand—does it look awfully...large? Health experts say overpouring or the actual percentage of alcohol in a drink can change it's alcohol content.

When scientists at the Public Health Institute studied more than 480 beer, wine and spirit drinks at about 80 bars and restaurants in northern California, they found the drinks ordered typically contained more than 0.6 oz of alcohol. And as you already know, too much alcohol consumption can be a barrier to healthy living, and can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease and cancer.

The bottom line: All alcoholic drinks are not made the same. Keep this in mind the next time you decide to knock a few back. And, as always, find a safe way to get home! [WebMD]

Posted: 6/23/08