The health police - Woman dares to wine and dine


The health police: enough already!
Ever felt as if you were under citizen’s arrest when a well-meaning friend or stranger asked if you really needed that slice of cake? Or whether your kids should be outside on such a hot day? We’ve got the comebacks that’ll put the health police behind bars

By Bonny Reichert
First published in Chatelaine’s July 2003 issue.
© Rogers Publishing Ltd.

Woman dares to wine and dine

The offence “I enjoy a glass of red wine each night after the kids are in bed,” admits Kayla*, a busy mother of three. But when she drags out the blue box, she is embarrassed by its overflowing contents. “People around here would definitely feel that we drink too much,” says Kayla of her conservative neighbourhood. In fact, she and her hubby have even piled empties into their trunk and disposed of them privately to escape the neighbours’ prying eyes.

Background check When it comes to choosing a healthy indulgence, you can’t beat red wine. It’s widely believed to be responsible for the so-called French paradox: even though the French have a diet high in fat (les fromages), they have low levels of heart disease. And now a white wine, specifically a French Chardonnay, may have the same benefits, says the Université de Montpellier.

But it’s not just wine. A new study out of Tulane University in New Orleans has concluded that one to two drinks a day–anything from a beer to a martini–can lower your risk of stroke. On balance, the research also found that consuming more than five drinks a day will up your risk of stroke by more than 60 per cent. It might also give you one hell of a hangover.

The verdict While you shouldn’t count on alcohol to improve your health, a glass a day is not going to hurt. As Pearson says, “Alcohol can be tricky. A little is good but a lot is bad. For women, up to a drink a day is safe; for men, it’s probably two.”

Your comeback “Don’t whine about my wine. A drink a day is good for my heart–and it can’t hurt my French.”

* Some names have been changed.

  • Intro
  • Pregnant woman takes drugs
  • New mother weans baby
  Woman dares to wine and dine
  • Whistle blown on latte habit
  • Canadians shirk the shot
  • Cancer patient ignores unsolicited medical advice
  • Safe medications for pregnant women
  • Tea benefits
  • Cold + flu guide
  • Trade health police stories in our Health forum

Get Chatelaine in your inbox!

Our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers. Delivered a couple of times a week.