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    Researchers: 'Alcoh007ic' Bond Drunk Enough to Die Another Day Many Times Over

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    James Bond, the British spy infamous for his love of his country, women and "shaken, not stirred" martinis, has been a popular literary and cinematic character for almost seven decades. However, the MI6 ladykiller has harbored a potentially fatal problem with alcohol every step of the way academics have concluded.

    The team of researchers — from University of Otago, New Zealand — were led by Professor Nick Wilson, a medical doctor and public health specialist, and analyzed every movie in the 24-title series. It has gone on to win the Medical Journal of Australia's Christmas competition.

    The study concluded Bond is seen on-screen imbibing alcohol a grand total of 109 times — an average of 4.5 drinks per film — and his tipple regularly extends beyond martinis, including champagne and beer. This sybaritic penchant amounts to a "severe" and "chronic" drinking problem, they find — and has a tendency to coincide with Bond's most reckless behavior.

    "Chronic risks include frequently drinking prior to fights, driving vehicles (including in chases), high-stakes gambling, operating complex machinery or devices, contact with dangerous animals, extreme athletic performance and sex with enemies, sometimes with guns or knives in the bed," the paper finds.

    As a result, Bond meets over half the criteria for alcohol use disorder as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 classification system for mental disorders.

    Dr. No Restraint

    The booziest Bond movie is 2008's Quantum of Solace, in which the titular protagonist drinks six "vesper" martinis — a gin and vodka-based cocktail which substitutes Kina Lillet for vermouth.

    That particular binge-drinking session amounted to 24 units of alcohol, enough to produce a potentially fatal blood alcohol level of 0.36 grams per deciliter, and almost high enough to cause a coma, heart failure or even death.

    However, in one James Bond novel, researchers Bond drinks 50 in a single day-"a level of consumption which would kill nearly everyone". Reference to Bond's problematic drinking is made within the franchise itself too, they observed — in one scene, a medical scan reveals his liver to be "not too good", while in another an MI6 personnel report on Bond stated "alcohol and substance addiction indicated".

     In this file image released by Sony Pictures, Daniel Craig stars as James Bond 007 in a scene from Quantum of Solace.
    © AP Photo / Sony Pictures, FILE
    In this file image released by Sony Pictures, Daniel Craig stars as James Bond 007 in a scene from "Quantum of Solace."
    However, all is not lost for the spy — the academics offer a number of ways Bond could minimize the risks he faces from excessive consumption in the short term. For one, avoid drinking while working, particularly during "complex tasks, including aerial combat in helicopter gunships and deactivation of nuclear weapons". Such duties are best performed "with a zero blood alcohol level". Likewise, avoid drinking with sexual partners "who may want to disable, capture or kill him" — and focus on other interests such as lepidopterology, the study of moths and butterflies, revealed when commenting expertly on hiss boss M's collection.

    They also had a suggestion for MI6, suggesting it be a more responsible employer and refer him to work-funded counselling or psychiatric support services for managing alcohol use disorder. These services should also determine whether he has any post-traumatic stress after killing so many people and having been tortured so often.

    It's not the first time 007's hedonistic habits have been the subject of academic inquiry. A 2013 British Medical Journal study found the spy's alcohol intake places him "at high risk of multiple alcohol-related diseases and an early death" and noted his ability to function "is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol."

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    Tags:
    alcohol consumption, alcohol poisoning, alcoholism, alcohol abuse, spying, MI6, James Bond, United Kingdom
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