This is a good opportunity to point out that alcoholism is much more prevalent in young people than it is generally thought. Especially with students and young employees who like to "party", it must be taken seriously. The fact that alcohol is not frowned upon by society in general, hides the devastating effects it can have.
What starts as drinking on weekends and getting wasted maybe once a week, turns into drinking 3-4 times a week, than maybe 4-5 times a week. When you start to feel alone and "need a drink", when you want to have fun, but you "need a drink", when you are under lots of stress and "you need a drink", those are signs that you are becoming an alcoholic.
Please seek help and talk about it. Alcoholism is dangerous and kills you, makes you an outsider and loner over time. Please don't feel ashamed. Seek help, talk to friends/family.
It's important to study the risks associated with alcohol, but it's also important to be pragmatic about how we reduce risk in our lives.
Everything is risky, riding a horse is risky, going sailing is risky, doing a stressful job is risky. Running marathons often causes health problems. Being sedentary causes health problems.
Being lonely is terrible for your health. Having a beer with your friends could be as important as another evening in the gym.
I was always suspicious of the magical 'one glass of red a day is actually GOOD for you!' - seemed like a major case of wishful thinking and confirmation bias.
Alcohol is fun to many people - including researchers. This has driven an almost desperate attempt to legitimate drinking in nearly any context. Drinking daily? Good for you! While pregnant? Probably not bad! Breastfeeding? Sure! Just social drinking once a week, but a little bingey? Well that's like an average of 1 drink/day, so it's also good for you basically!
I quote a friend who is a psychiatrist: there is no known safe level of alcohol.
All of the debate about risk and life expectancy and carcinogens, etc. is fine from a scientific perspective, but don't forget to enjoy your life and to allow others the opportunity to enjoy theirs. For most of us, the "goal" is not to live the longest or to be the healthiest person in the room, but to laugh, play, cry, and to enjoy the journey as best we can given our circumstances. It ends the same way for all of us and is rarely pleasant no matter the route one took to arrive there.
One question I have about this paper is that as far as I can tell they don't seem to control for obesity. Drinking is often correlated with increased weight, and fatness causes many of the problems attributed to alcohol. I wonder how much of negative health issues found in this paper could be offset by staying fit and keeping weight under control?
That said, it seems to be quite a rigorous paper in general and it's made me think about how much I should be drinking.
>As for the threshold for low-risk drinking, White said, “there’s no magic number here. The effects of alcohol on health are very complicated. The effects are influenced by a wide range of factors, like body weight and sex, medications, rate of consumption, so it’s very hard to arrive at one single threshold below which everybody’s going to be safe from harm.”
Yet another reminder that there's often a difference between what the public wants or needs (a magic number), and what reality can deliver (a very complex set of related variables).
If you get all your science from news articles that talk about magic numbers, you're not getting the full picture of the science. The media delivers what readers want to read, not what the most useful info is.
I think the most important finding here is that woman and men are affected alike, and our opinion that men can drink more (safely) are just false preconceptions.
Imagine if alcohol would be invented today. Drinking strong industrial solvent and carcinogen would be considered batshit crazy even in strongly diluted forms.
When everybody something has existed for few decades, it becomes accepted behaviour.
A quick search of the list of the "happiest countries" conducted by the UN shows all top 10 countries are from the west with at least a minor drinking culture.
Obviously there are a variety of factors affecting the outcome, but it does seem that in countries where drinking is prevalent, the people in general are happier possibly due to the relationships forged. I'll take slightly shorter and happier over an extra year added to the lifespan.
Nutrition Facts' Michael Greger covered the misinterpretation of data that led people to believe in health benefits of moderate drinking in this video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/Is-It-Better-to-Drink-Littl...
There are reasons to drink moderately besides health, but best not to decide based on misinterpretations.
Was it the alcohol that killed the study subjects, or the carbs, or the fats, or the sugar, or the skewered red meats, or the caffeine, or the insanely aggressive competition at work and in life. To me it all seems a Calvinistic effort to lay the blame of anything at peoples’ feet, “poor life choices” and taking treatments off insurance coverage.
Hey, on the tune of the conspiracists blaming “big alcohol”, I wonder if all these “x kills you” are also sponsored by “big insurance”.
Seems like we plain do not have a good set of studies on alcohol (or coffee, or...).
You can examine that alcohol has been consumed by many cultures for centuries and evaluate whether the associated outcomes are acceptable to you.
7 beers a week sounds like alcoholism to me but that's maybe because of "a week" and "7" parts.
I heard drink is bad for you
Alcohol in the absence of polyunsaturated fats is fairly benign. In the context of fried foods and margarine and vegetable oils it's very damaging. On a very low fat diet you could probably down a six pack daily with minimal harm.