Gallup: More Americans View Moderate Drinking as Unhealthy

“39% say drinking in moderation is bad for one’s health, up 11 points since 2018” - Gallup


The trend doesn’t seem to have reached Wisconsin, where I live… the 2021 ‘drunkest state in the US.’…

(Or maybe 39% think moderate drinking is bad for your health but 99% of those plan to skip the moderate and just get drunk, unhealthy or not. Numbers can be so deceptive.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

For the past few years, study after study has come out that purports to find that "moderate drinking is bad for you", and when I actually look at the studies, every last one of them includes a large sample of people who are not drinking moderately at all.

You don't want to be anywhere near wine, that's fine. But even the most ardent teetotaler ought to be concerned at this pattern; "research studies" on wine have a clear "finger on the scale" as binge drinking is characterized as "moderate". That's a basic level of dishonesty that's going to contaminate all research as it becomes accepted.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

The definition for moderate, seems quite excessive. Anyone that I know who drinks would not view 2.2 drinks a day for a male as moderate drinking. That is almost 16 beers a week. Most of the people I know would view a few beers a week as moderate and a few drinks a month as light.

David, even worse is that a lot of the studies don't differentiate drinking distributed across the days of the week--say a glass of wine or two with dinner--from "clumps" of drinking on the weekend. The former is not generally an issue, the latter definitely is, but if you're just counting drinks per week, you've lumped in moderate drinkers with drunks.

It's hard to separate that out, but if they're really going to address truly moderate drinking, that's something researchers need to do.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

....When I started my career, there was a lot of peer pressure to consume alcohol. Had to drive many home after workplace Christmas parties.

Nowadays, even amongst nonbelievers, a large portion of the workforce will defer imbibing at social gatherings. I think possible legal ramifications are a big part of them being careful.

Back in 1989, I received very little peer pressure to drink, but back then I was also spending a lot of time around the bar because that is where my dad was. Because of what I saw in that atmosphere, I decided not to drink. What was interesting is that there was little to no peer pressure to drink alcohol in the bar settings I was in. It was actually respected.

The only time I remember getting peer pressure was sitting around a camp fire as a teenager, and another teen who was kind of a rude person started to give me a hard time for not drinking. Another teen who was already an alcoholic, came up and told him to knock it off and said told him of his own struggle with alcoholism. From that time until I was in my 40's I do not remember getting any push back for not drinking.

Then I got mocked by some Reformed people for being a Baptist and they thought I was abstaining simply because I was a Baptist. I explained that all Baptists do not abstain and that I abstained before I even became a Baptist. I also pointed out that I had not gotten push back from unsaved people due to my abstaining (BTW, I was not criticizing them for their drinking, they brought it up. I have found that in some Reformed circles, drinking is almost a sacrament). I even had one of them promote the idea of drunkeness as a special gift from God that we should all partake in. That really opened my eyes to the fact that there are extremes on both ends of the Christian alcohol debate. It also revealed the character of those particular reformed folks who saw nothing wrong with mocking another's faith tradition or with getting drunk. Thankfully they are far from reflective of all Reformed Christians.

Both of my parents claimed to be moderate drinkers. Dad, however would get drunk, but Mom would have a couple of drinks per month and only one at a time. She eventually decided to abstain as well though.

Some violate Christian liberty by restricting practices that the Bible categorizes as personal decision. "Let each be fully persuaded in his own mind." Others wrongfully pressure Christians to practice things they prefer not to do. Again, "Let each be fully persuaded in his own mind." It is a violation of Christian liberty to forbid alcohol. Drinking moderately is not a sin. Drunkenness is a sin. It is equally a violation of Christian liberty to pressure Christians to partake of alcohol.

Yes, I've seen quite a few Reformed brethren violate Scripture by demanding that others join them in drinking. I suppose they think that one must drink to prove he is not a legalist. I choose to abstain. I believe that is the wisest course and is my personal decision, an exercise of Christian liberty. I say, "Stop it! I have as much liberty to abstain as you have to partake. Quit pressuring Christians to do what they, exercising Christian liberty, choose not to do. Don't you Reformed folks believe the Bible?"

G. N. Barkman

G.N., I am sad to hear that my experience with some Reformed folks was not an isolated incident. I was hoping it was. Your comments above are my feelings as well.