Interesting article; but more recent research is beginning to dispute several 'facts' regarding alcohol. Drinking in moderation, moderation being no more than 1 drink for a woman and 2 drinks for men a day period and no more than that, conveys good benefits. A drink is essentially a 12 oz beer, a 5 oz glass of wine, and 1.5 oz of liquor. Moderate drinkers live longer, have healthier hearts, a significantly reduced chance of developing dementia's, women who consume approximately 1 drink per day had 60% chance of NOT developing diabetes and the list goes on. This data runs counter to the prevailing conventional wisdom which simply says alcohol, any alcohol, in any quantity is bad for you. As an example, red wine, in particular Pinot Noir, is, in moderation as in 1-2 glasses, carries good qualities. It clearly protects the heart and for years, the 'French Paradox' has confounded the accepted wisdom.
A lot of the opposition to alcohol in any form comes from the damage that is created by those who cannot simply drink only 1 - 2 drinks per day. MADD has done excellent work in bringing to national attention the damage done by excessive drinking. AA has done excellent work in helping those who cannot for what ever reason control their drinking. These organizations have worked hard to bring to everyone's awareness how we as a culture, have simply overlooked the damage done by excessive drinking. These organizations (MADD is in the forefront of this good work) have shown how we have long ignored the elephant in the middle of the room.
However, as in many things, the truth lies in the middle: abstintion brings its own dangers as does excessive drinking.
The recent research now involves studies using large numbers of people, numbers in excess of 10,000 and from all groups or significantly diverse groups for example. Previous studies used small groups (generally less than 100), used specific groups (college students or individuals who already had health problems for example). This actually means that any conclusions to be drawn from them could really only be applied to those specific individuals studied.
That is a problem with articles like this one: conclusions are stated with out citing sources for others to track down the truth. The conventional wisdom is so engrained that data which does not support our preconcieved beliefs is overlooked. One of the greatest benefits that Spark People brings is getting people to track what they do, alter behavior based on accurate data and make positive changes based on accurate information regarding their own unique situation.
Here are several sources for tracking down more accurate data:
Prentice, A. M. Alcohol and obesity. International Journal of Obesity, 1995, 19(Suppl. 5), S44-S50.
Tanner, L. Light to moderate drinking cuts diabetes risk in women, too. Associated Press, 6-10-03; National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
Sesso, H.D., et al. Seven -year changes in alcohol consumption and subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease in men. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001, 160, 2505-2612.
utrition/article.htm; Betty Kovacs, MD, RD.
- 12/21/2009 1:12:38 AM