Parents Drinking Weakens Children’s Vitality

Here’s an interesting piece of history, during the temperance movement of the early 20th century, when propaganda as a science was still in its infancy. Propaganda has been around almost as long as we’ve had civilization, but really came into its own with World War I, so these prohibitionist efforts were just before that, around 1909. And it would just be a curiosity, an artifact of another time, if not for the fact that the neo-prohibitionists today continue in the sad tradition of this same kind of nonsense, never missing an opportunity to chastise adults for their parenting in an effort to demonize alcohol and remove it once more from society. For the sake of the children continues to be a popular rallying cry, and just as ridiculous today as a century ago.


Safeguarding the Babies, apparently a popular poster from the time, argued that if you as an adult drank alcohol then you were creating weak children, ones with diminished “vitality,” a term never really defined. This, the poster claims, is based on science and states that families where the parents are teetotalers only have 1.3% weakly children while families where the adults drink have kids who are 8.2% weakly. Oh, the horror! It’s a little hard to read that in the poster, but a lantern slide made a few years later by the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in 1914, using the same data, is more clear and even goes on to suggest that in drinking families almost of a quarter (24.8%) of their children will die while abstaining families kids will perish only 18.5% of the time. So that must mean the 6.3% difference is due entirely to their being drink in the house, right? I mean, what else could it possibly be?


Yet another version, this one from 1913 and created by the Scientific Temperance Federation of Boston, Massachusetts, is one of at least 50 such poster that they made available to their followers, and through their “Scientific Temperance Journal,” which is about as scientific as you might expect. At least this one actually reveals the source of the “science,” which was a survey of 109 families in a single village in Finland. In 50 of those families, the adults didn’t drink, while in the other 59 they did. That’s the study, conducted by a professor Taav. Laitinen of the University of Helsingfors, which is the University of Helsinki, and apparently published as “Report XII International Congress vs. Alcoholism.”


This study, and many other similar ones, was published in the “Handbook of Modern Facts About Alcohol” By Cora Frances Stoddard, a secretary in the Scientific Temperance Federation.


It’s hard to say if the 109 families in Laitinen’s “study” is a statistically significant cohort, but it seems unlikely. But Laitinen continued to expand his research to include more finnish families, eventually including nearly 6,000, and he continued to get predictably similar results.


But scientific hooey aside, the message was clear. Drink, and your children will suffer. Drink, and your children are more likely to die. I tend to view the early 20th century as a more gullible time, and I can only assume many more people believed this nonsense without questioning it. Neo-prohibitionist groups today employ the same pseudo-scientific balderdash, only now they dress it up with degreed researchers and publish in slightly less questionable scientific journals, or at least ones that hide their true purpose better. But then, as now, it’s still laced with naked agenda to promote a specific cause, not to enlighten or educate for the sake of that knowledge. It is propaganda, pure and simple. The scare tactics are particularly offensive, since it calls into question the parenting of virtually anyone who drinks alcohol as somehow caring less for their children than parents who abstain. I’d love to say we live in a more enlightened age, but today’s anti-alcohol organizations continue to stoop just as low as cries of “think of the children” ring just as hollow now as when they questioned the “vitality” of our children merely by growing up in a household where drinking took place.

Nine Beers Experiencing Titanic Sales Drops

24/7 Wall St. had an interesting look at some beers that have fallen on hard times over the last five years. Entitled Nine Beers Americans No Longer Drink, it lists some mainstream beers that have experienced some amazing drops in sales from 2006 through last year. The data is from Beer Marketer’s Insights and the list includes nine beers that have experienced more than a one-third drop in sales — and in two cases two-thirds — over that five-year time period. Here’s the list:

  1. Michelob: 72% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (ABI)
  2. Michelob Light: 66.3% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (ABI)
  3. Budweiser Select: 60.8% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (ABI)
  4. Milwaukee’s Best: 57.1% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (MillerCoors)
  5. Old Milwaukee: 52.8% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (Pabst)
  6. Miller Genuine Draft: 52.3% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (MillerCoors)
  7. Amstel Light: 47.7% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (Heineken)
  8. Miller High Life Light: 37.6% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (MillerCoors)
  9. Milwaukee’s Best Light: 35.5% drop in sales, 2006-2011 (MillerCoors)

That’s a pretty remarkable list. A few of those used to be truly successful brands. The article also details how “to combat the growing popularity of craft brews, major breweries such as Anheuser-Busch Inbev and MillerCoors have aggressively marketed their own specialty beer.” Those include such stealth beers as Blue Moon, Shock Top, et al. That’s in addition to buying up craft brands such as Goose Island or creating separate marketing arms, like Tenth and Blake.

It will be interesting to see what these companies will do next as these brands drag down the ship with such titanic sinking sales. Will they take steps to reinvigorate these brands or jettison them from their portfolios and instead concentrate on craftier brands?


Tanzania Beer

Today in 1961, Tanzania (then Tanganyika) gained their Independence from the United Kingdom. On December 19, 1963, Zanzibar also gained its independence from the UK. On April 26, 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania, which is celebrated as Union Day.


Tanzania Breweries

Tanzania Brewery Guides

Other Guides

Guild: None Known

National Regulatory Agency: None

Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Not Known

Drunk Driving Laws: BAC 0.05%


  • Full Name: United Republic of Tanzania
  • Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique
  • Government Type: Republic
  • Language: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages [Note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages]
  • Religion(s): Mainland: Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar: more than 99% Muslim
  • Capital: Dodoma
  • Population: 46,912,768; 28th
  • Area: 947,300 sq km, 31st
  • Comparative Area: Slightly larger than twice the size of California
  • National Food: Ugali
  • National Symbols: Peacock; African Blackwood; Uhuru (Freedom) torch
  • Affiliations: UN, African Union, Commonwealth
  • Independence: Tanganyika became independent on December 9, 1961 (from UK-administered UN trusteeship); Zanzibar became independent on December 19, 1963 (from UK); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar on April 26, 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (celebrated as Union Day); renamed United Republic of Tanzania on 29 October 1964.


  • Alcohol Legal: Yes
  • Minimum Drinking Age: 18
  • BAC: 0.08%
  • Number of Breweries: 7


  • How to Say “Beer”: bia, pombe
  • How to Order a Beer: Moja pombe, tafadhali
  • How to Say “Cheers”: Afya / Maisha marefu (“good life”) / Vifijo
  • Toasting Etiquette: N/A


Alcohol Consumption By Type:

  • Beer: 11%
  • Wine: <1%
  • Spirits: 3%
  • Other: 86%

Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):

  • Recorded: 4.75
  • Unrecorded: 2.00
  • Total: 6.75
  • Beer: 0.57

WHO Alcohol Data:

  • Per Capita Consumption: 4.8 litres
  • Alcohol Consumption Trend: Stable
  • Excise Taxes: Yes
  • Minimum Age: 21
  • Sales Restrictions: Hours, location
  • Advertising Restrictions: Yes
  • Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: Yes

Patterns of Drinking Score: 3

Prohibition: None