James Bond's Dirty Little Spy Secret: He's an Alcoholic12/13/13
FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Iconic spy character
James Bond drinks so much and so often that in real life he'd be
incapable of chasing down villains or wooing sexy vamps, a new
"The level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol," wrote a team led by Dr. Patrick Davies, of Nottingham University Hospitals, in England.
His team analyzed the famous spy's alcohol consumption and found
that it was more than four times higher than the recommended intake
for an adult male.
This puts Bond at high risk for several alcohol-related diseases
-- including alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, impotence and
alcohol-induced tremor -- and an early death.
The alcohol-induced tremor may explain why Bond prefers his
martinis "shaken, not stirred," the study authors joked. They added
that the alcoholism-induced tremor in his hands means he's unlikely
to be able to stir his drinks, even if he wants to.
Davies' group launched the study because they were struck by the
fact that the amount of Bond's drinking in the original books
seemed rather high. They wondered if he could actually carry out
his missions and woo so many women at this level of drinking.
Based on a thorough reading of all of the books, the study
authors concluded that Bond's average alcohol consumption was 92
units per week -- over four times the recommended amount. This
figure excludes days when Bond was unable to drink.
A unit of alcohol is about 10 milliliters of pure alcohol --
about the same amount found in the average glass of scotch, bourbon
or other hard liquor.
The spy's maximum daily alcohol intake was almost 50 units per
day and he had only 12.5 alcohol-free days out of the 87.5 days he
was able to drink, according to the findings in the Christmas
edition of the journal
Bond might even be a road hazard, since he frequently drank
enough to put him over the legal limit before he climbed into his
Many studies have shown that people generally underestimate
their alcohol consumption by about 30 percent, which means that
Bond's alcohol consumption may be as high as 130 units per week,
the study authors said.
It's clear that 007 needs help, the authors said. "We advise an
immediate referral for further assessment and treatment [and] a
reduction in alcohol consumption to safe levels," they
They also noted that excessive drinking is a global health
problem that causes 2.5 million deaths a year. However, movies and
other sources of entertainment often portray drinking in a
positive, even glamorous, way.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has
alcohol and your health.
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