Every year I vow to get back in shape via a diet/exercise program, and every year I make imperceptible headway due to the standard things: inconsistent schedule, crazy things happening at work, surprisingly low aerobic benefit from blogging, and…beer.
I really like beer. I don’t like wine or liquor or even high-alcohol ales. I only like beer.
- Fuller’s ESB
- Samuel Smith’s Pale Ale
- Bass Ale
- Avery ESB
- Redhook ESB
- Bridgeport ESB
- Sam Adam’s Boston Lager
- Assorted Microbrews
That’s it. It’s not that I wanted to restrict myself to only snooty beers – I went through the American big brewery offerings in college (Miller, Michelob, Coors, etc.), then through the lagers (Heineken, St. Pauli Girl, Beck’s, etc.) in my mid to late 20′s. And then my tastes evolved to the list you see before you, and they’ve remained that way for more than 15 years.
So beer has always been my dieting demon. I proved conclusively that the Atkin’s + Beer Diet lacks efficacy, then demonstrated that the South Beach + Beer Diet is even worse. Though, since I love protein, both were very fun. At least I can rest content knowing that humanity can benefit from my research.
So I was sitting here pondering the New Year, thinking about my dieting nemesis and manfully resisting the urge to pop one open to kick off the evening. And then I thought…what about those socioeconomic statistics that show how much of peoples’ incomes are spent on alcohol? Seriously – that’s how my brain works, if you can call it working.
So I went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site and checked out their statistics on household income and alcohol expenditures. The question was: who’s snorking down all the alcohol? Here’s a couple of interesting answers. First let’s look at the purchases vs. career category:
So it is not the blue collar guy who is doing the most imbibing – it’s the managers and other professionals who are slogging it down. Although construction guys are no slouches. But if you consider that managers/professionals spend twice as much on “entertainment” as construction guys do, and 50% more on eating out, there is probably a bigger gap in actual consumption than is shown on this chart.
Next I wanted to look at the expenditures as a function of income. Do the poor spend a disproportionate amount on alcohol as many believe?
So not really – the wealthy are spending quite a bit on alcohol, but the poor are spending in the neighborhood of 4 -5 dollars a week. Of course, since not all people drink, the spending rate for those who do is quite a bit higher than is shown here, but even so, their doesn’t seem to be a problem with exorbitant expenditures among the lower income groups.
Back to the New Year’s Resolution. So I resolve to shed the canard of widespread alcoholic dissolution among lower income groups. That seems like an excellent way to start the new year.
“Fine, geoff,” you say, “but shouldn’t you be a little more ambitious in your resolutions?”
All right, all right. I rashly promised on a thread at Dave’s site that I would hunker down and do the diet/exercise thing for 4 months and then go on cholesterol meds if I hadn’t made decent progress. Well, we bought a house around that time, so I was swamped with fixing up the old house for the renters, moving, and fixing up the new house for us. So I didn’t really get into a decent health routine.
So here goes: I resolve not to drink any beer until St. Patrick’s Day (nigh unto a Holy Day for me), and to diet and exercise rigorously until that point. I’m going to put a number up on the site somewhere that will be the consecutive days of abstinence. I don’t know if anybody cares, but I’ll do it just to feel like I’m being watched.