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The question Beer is food

Reports this week claim 20,000 Russians die each year as a result of beer related alcohol poisoning. But research often shows beer can offer health benefits. What importance do you place on drinking beer as part of a healthy lifestyle and productive work environment?

Drinking beer in moderation does have mild health benefits.

However, from years of intensive research into this very important subject I can conclude that 10 pints of strong lager on a Friday night does your health absolutely no good at all. If anyone would like to conduct any further research into this area, then mine's a pint, thanks. As to its place in the work environment, I would say no place at all, unless you are trying to get the client to give you the contract!

Chris Goodier, consultant, Watford

Beer and work in moderation are both essential to a healthy lifestyle. Indulgence to excess in either is harmful, if not fatal.

Anthony Taylor, consultant, St Albans.

The odd swift half at lunchtime or after work does wonders for my own health and that of my coworkers. The traditional act of gathering in a comfortable environment such as a pub helps put the problems of the day into perspective, consigning them to the box of 'things that don't matter in the great scheme of events'. Thus the evening or weekend becomes more relaxed and enjoyable as a result and subsequent periods of work more fruitful.

Steve Mitchell, 30, lecturer, Brighton

As with everything, a few beers will not do you any harm, in fact a good night out can do you the world of good in terms of well being. A few drinks over lunch seems to be standard practice in the business world, but I personally feel there is no place for alcohol in the work place, even more so in civil engineering as people's lives may be at risk. Anyone who drinks while working on site either needs help or is an idiot.

Mark Philpotts, 27, civil engineer, London

As drinking beer is something mostly undertaken socially, it is generally conducive to a healthy social lifestyle.

Naturally, within the workplace, beer is unlikely to increase productivity. However, postwork beer-related get togethers will often lead to greater team morale and comradeship - especially when accompanied by a curry - oh, and plenty of fruit and regular exercise.

Jonathan Rogers, coastal engineer, Surrey.

I find it hard to believe that any benefits from beer cannot be gained from a balanced diet. At the same time it is easy to see the harm from excess alcohol consumption on individuals and society.

I consider that beer, or any other alcohol, has no place in the working environment, except in social events outside working hours.

Richard Monk, director of facilities, Northampton

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