Czech Adventist Health Leader Protests Against

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

Prague, Czech Republic | Bedrich Jetelina / ANN

Petr Skrla, Ph.D., head of the health department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Czech Republic, criticized 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 organizer 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 realize 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.

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