Full text: The alcohol problem

CHAPTER VII 
THE EFFECT OF FOOD AND OF DILUTION ON THE 
ACTION OF ALCOHOL 
Introduction—The Influence of Food on the Alcohol Effect—The 
Influence of Dilution on the Alcohol Effect—Why have Dilute 
Alcoholic Liquids a Low Intoxicating Power ?7—The Steady 
Disappearance of Alcohol from the Blood—A Comparison of 
the Effects of Various Alcoholic Drinks—The Effect of Drinking 
Neat Spirits—A Scientific Scheme of Differential Taxation. 
INTRODUCTION. 
IT is a matter of common knowledge that alcoholic 
liquors when taken on an empty stomach produce 
more marked subjective sensations than if they are 
taken with a meal or shortly after it. Until recently, 
however, no exact quantitative information was avail- 
able, and there was no means of judging with any degree 
of accuracy whether the action of food is great or small, 
and for how long after a meal it exerts its influence. 
In fact, most investigators of the action of alcohol on 
the human organism have entirely ignored the food 
factor, and have omitted to mention, in their records 
of experiments, how long an interval elapsed between 
the taking of food and the consumption of the experi- 
mental dose. As far as one can guess, most observa- 
tions were made in the middle of the morning or 
afternoon, and probably about two or three hours after 
the last meal. As we shall see later on, this is an 
unsatisfactory time to choose, for the stomach is then, 
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