New Study Say There is No ‘Safe’ Amount of Alcohol

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NOW LISTEN HERE, SCIENCE. You need to get your shit together and stop playing with our emotions. First a glass of wine a day is fine. Good, even! Then, moderate drinking can be beneficial. Now, you’re going to sit there and tell is that no alcohol is considered “safe” or “good for you”? Sounds like you all need to confer on some shit and get back to the rest of us. In case you missed it, a new alcohol study was released that suggests alcohol, in all forms and in any amount, is bad for your health. It’s rude and I feel personally attacked. Let’s break this down, shall we?

The 2016 global alcohol study has some pretty bleak data to report. Especially bleak if you’re one of the third of all humans who enjoy a cocktail or two (it me).

According to the study, alcohol was the leading risk factor for early death and disease in men and women between the ages of 15-49 WORLDWIDE. It accounted for nearly 1 in 10 deaths. The statistics, they are not good. The reported deaths include alcohol-related cancer and heart diseases, infectious diseases like tuberculosis, intentional injury, and unintentional injury like traffic accidents. China, India, and Russia led the world in alcohol-related deaths. Meanwhile the US ranked 5th among men and 7th among women.

For the purposes of the study, a drink was considered 10 grams or approximately 12 millileters of alcohol. Researchers used data from the 2016 Global Burden of Disease report (sounds like a fun read). They analyzed the impact of alcohol on 23 different health conditions and alcohol-related diseases. The Global Burden of Disease collaborators then analyzed over 1,300 previous studies on alcohol use and disease.

Says senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, “The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally”. However, other experts aren’t so quick to agree.

David Spiegelhalter is the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge. He says, “Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention”.

Spiegelhalter continues, “There is no safe level of driving, but governments do not recommend that people avoid driving. Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention”. He was not involved in the study in question, but I like the cut of his jib.

Listen, alcohol use and abuse is a major problem, all over the world. And yes, when used irresponsibly, alcohol greatly increases your risk of premature death and disease. But soon, we’ll see an alcohol study what totally contradicts this one. That’s sort of how it works, isn’t it? If you don’t drink, excellent. If you do, also excellent, but use common sense. One study isn’t going to change a lot of minds. But maybe it will adjust some behaviors.

(Image: iStock / monkeybusinessimages)