Alcohol use carries a risk of early death

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Jim's picture

Some studies have suggested drinking moderate amounts of red wine is good for cardiovascular health, but what does moderate mean? That’s one question Angela Wood, who studies epidemiology and lectures at the University of Cambridge, and her team tried to figure out.

It’s a question that’s also long been debated among alcohol researchers. It’s hard to develop a one-size-fits-all recommendation because how alcohol affects the body can vary from one person to another. In certain studies, “moderate” is one drink a day; in others, it’s as many as three or four a day, researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health have pointed out. ...

The study could prompt public health experts to rethink how alcohol fits in the American diet and what it means to drink in moderation.

Bert Perry's picture that the article notes "increases" beyond 100g/week, but actually gives data for 200-350g/week, or about 10-18 drinks/week.  Now unless someone's drinking is really, really consistent--1.5 to 2.5 drinks after dinner each day or something like that--it's worth noting that such a drinker is pretty likely to be imbibing more than four drinks at a sitting at least once per week, most likely on Friday or Saturday night.

In other words, the data are actually pointing to clear indicators of problem drinking, not moderate drinking, and it is not apparent that the researchers made much of an effort to separate the two behaviors.  In that way, it's a lot like all the anti-spanking studies that lump in criminal child abuse with spanking, not bothering to discern whether as much as a bruise occurred as a result of the discipline.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.