Is James Bond an Alcoholic?

By Shawn Dwyer 12/13/13

According to a mock study, the world's most famous secret agent is nothing more than a common drunk.

On second thought, just give me club soda.
Photo via Columbia Pictures

He should be dead at 56.

At least that’s the theory according to researchers who studied 007’s drinking habits in all 14 books written by Ian Fleming.

Led by Graham Johnson of the emergency department of Royal Derby Hospital, the study was published in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, which often features off-kilter research. After tallying the number of dry martinis James Bond drank in the books, the group concluded that he consumed a total of 92 units of alcohol per week, four times the amount recommended by doctors.

Researchers concluded that Bond’s exceedingly high alcohol intake would lead to an array of health issues, including liver damage, stroke, sexual dysfunction, and early death. He’s also at higher risk for crashing his Aston Martin and wouldn’t be a crack shot with his Walther PPK, since he’d most likely suffer from hand tremors. "There are people capable of drinking this amount," said co-author Patrick Davies, a physician at Nottingham University Hospitals. "But they are not capable of drinking that amount and still being able to defuse a nuclear bomb."

While done in jest, the study did underscore the serious health issues associated with heavy alcohol consumption. But why Fleming depicted Bond as perpetually sauced may actually originate with the author himself, who drank and smoked heavily throughout his life and died of heart disease at 56. "We think James Bond might have a similar life expectancy," Davies said.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.