Alcohol Has More Risk Than Benefit-Even 4 Moderate Drinkers

New Canadian government-backed guidance considers just two alcoholic drinks per week low-risk. That’s a sharp reduction from the country’s previous guidance deeming around two drinks per day safe, depending on sex.

Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for disease burden worldwide, accounting for nearly 10% of global deaths among populations aged 15–49 years, and poses dire ramifications for future population health in the absence of policy action today. The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising, particularly as improved methods and analyses continue to show how much alcohol use contributes to global death and disability. Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none. This level is in conflict with most health guidelines, which espouse health benefits associated with consuming up to two drinks per day.

Will the above make an impact upon those whom consume alcohol?
The statistic link shows alcohol use is prevalent in all age groups.
Drinking like smoking is a vice. It took decades for smoking to decline*. And the government had to be heavily involved banning TV advertising & in the 1990’s banning smoking in restaurants and work space.
The reduction of alcohol consumption would require a similar government intervention.
So investing vice stocks is still safe. But one might wish to consider eschewing alcohol so they live to spend returns of vice stocks.

United States alcohol sales were a little over $252 billion in 2019. This follows a trend since 2011 of that amount rising by about 4.3% per year. Spirits have been growing in sales steadily, matched by a steady decrease by beer. The rise of popularity of higher end spirits could account for part of this growth.


Color me doubtful…


Long term ingestion of a product can cause problems.
Let’s look at the many older folks taking a calcium supplement for their bones.

*was not particularly effective, at least it was safe. *
It is already accepted that calcium supplements increase vascular risk in patients with renal compromise, even in those not yet requiring dialysis. Also, there is substantial epidemiological evidence that serum calcium levels in the upper part of the normal range are a risk factor for vascular disease, and that calcium supplements acutely elevate serum calcium - a combination of findings that lends plausibility to supplementation increasing vascular risk. As there are reasonable grounds for doubting the safety of calcium supplements, and as the evidence for their efficacy in fracture prevention remains marginal, we suggest that there should be a reappraisal of their role in the management of osteoporosis, with a greater emphasis on agents known to prevent fractures.

As calcium supplements are widely used, even a small risk of increased harm would have substantial effect on the population. YMMV
In regard to US health care; I am a firm belief that less is more.


but, But, BUT, the media has been eagerly reporting the resultes of “studies” (funded by the alcohol industry?) that say you need to drink every day?

What’s next? A study of dark chocolate that pushes back on the “studies” funded by the chocolate industry that say you should eat chocolate every day?



Sure, but not posing “dire ramifications for future population health in the absence of policy action”.


Premium wines continue to be a bright spot for the U.S. wine industry, but a report released Wednesday from Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, Calif., warns that the good times may not last unless more Gen Z-ers and millennials start opting for Merlot over martinis.

Revenue at premium wineries was up 9.7%, on average, through September, which is “solid growth,” according to the report. It does, however, represent a dip after an 18.2% increase in 2021, although that result came after more than a half a percentage shortfall in revenue in the thick of the pandemic.

Of survey respondents aged 35 to 44, 29% said they were more likely to bring beer to a party, while 28% said they would bring wine. Even younger drinkers, aged 21 to 34, were more likely to bring beer, spirits, a flavored malt beverage or hard seltzer over wine. But ask a 65 year-old what he or she plans to bring to a party and 49% are likely to grab a bottle of wine, the survey found.


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I am trying to understand your line of thought. Care to elaborate?

They should have “drinks” in quotes. During my career, whenever I asked someone about alcohol consumption, I had to be very specific as to what a “drink” was. Had several patients tell me they only have 1 or 2 drinks a day but that drink was a tall boy beer (which could be the equivalent of 2-3 beers), a glass of wine (which was really 1/2 a liter), of 1/2 bottle of Crystal Clear. Even if it is a normal size beer, there are plenty of high ABV beers that can approach 20%.

FWIW, here is the definition of a drink.


Alcohol consumption has been around since the beginning of civilization. In fact, some thing that beer was the major impetus for the development of agriculture. In addition, rates of alcohol consumption have been declining or stable over the last few decades (at least in the United States).

So, to claim that drinking has “dire ramifications” is ignoring the delta and over-hyping their results.



That’s some glass, since (IIRC) a bottle of wine is 0.75 liters.


I daresay they are quite a few people who open a 750ml bottle of wine, drink a bit more than half … and then say to themselves “well, I can’t save such a small amount, so may as well drink it up.”

Even if 2 people, say a smaller person and a larger person, share a bottle, the larger person will probably drink 400-450ml, and the smaller person will drink 300-350ml.

Here’s a nice memory: My wife and I are in Aspen, sitting by a fire that is a little bigger than it really needs to be, drinking a nice Margaux; the dachshund is tuckered out from hiking up the mountain earlier in the day and is fast asleep with her belly turned toward the fire. Dinner is simmering in the kitchen.

Horrors, all, of course: There’s getting there, to begin with, and the dose of radiation you get every time you fly (“aircrew have the largest average annual effective dose of all US radiation-exposed workers”) added to the extra radiation you get just from being in the mountains (“calculations based on data from NCRP reports show that the average level of natural background radiation in Rocky Mountain states is 3.2 times that in Gulf Coast states”), the magnificent fireplace (“Wood-burning fireplaces: Not such a hot idea) that makes the emissions from the gas range look like the purest oxygen in one of those weird Japanese oxygen bars by comparison, the Margaux (“Even a Little Alcohol Can Harm Your Health,” the New York Times warned last week), the sweet little puppy (“pet dander can potentially be harmful to your respiratory system”), the bacteria-laden spice rack in the kitchen, the steak…



Tru-ish…but not a meaningful comparison.

For sure, evidence of the alcohol dehydrogenase metabolic pathway dates back as far as the Ice Age (the things you learn when proofreading textbooks) so we manifestly evolved to metabolise ethanol safely … but in limited quantities. The sort of quantities that would be available in a bit of inadvertently consumed fermented fruit.

Whilst I don’t doubt you’d be able to find any number of links to validate your assertion of a drop in alcohol consumption, they’re likely to be of the from “oooh, eversuch a lot” to “still enough to cause damage” to the individual who drinks. There’s been quite a change in demographics of chronic excess alcohol consumption over the past few decades in the US (and the UK, FWIW) with younger folk drinking more, more hard liquor and more frequently. With a consequent rise in earlier onset alcoholic liver disease, alcohol induced cirrhosis and end stage liver disease.


And even later, they rarely drank the “pure” stuff. It was diluted with water before drinking. For example, during the period that the Talmud was compiled, first century through fifth or sixth, wine is described as taking the raw fermented wine and mixing it with water, 1/3 fermented stuff to 2/3 water if I recall correctly.

A few years ago, while on a cruise ship, I read an interesting book they had in their library about six beverages that changed the world. Here’s an amazon link to that book -

I think I’ve spotted this on my husband’s bookshelves. He has a lot of these “History of…” books that patients have bought him over the years. Always interesting.

If I can’t find it I might just put it on my “to read” list.

The history is not why the results are overhyped or dire. Why are the results of the study not dire?

Well. I think part of the issue is that individuals tend to be pith poor (pardon my lithp) at assigning risk to themselves. It’s certainly not that easy but it so quickly leads to denialism (we’ve seen that with Covid).

So, for the individual who doesn’t drink or who genuinely doesn’t drink that much, studies like this aren’t relevant. Probably not to the outright alcoholic either. It’s that grey area of folk who believe one (don’t drink much) but are closer to the other (rampant lush) where the problem lies. Indeed, some of the pathology that’s been assigned to binge drinking/heavy chronic usage shows up in folk who’d claim to be moderate drinkers…accurately claim if you look at statistics…but, as usual, the devil is in the details. Age of onset, bodyweight, gender and whatever individual physiology reacts to a given amount…even altitude!!


I am dispassionate as you are saying. I do not drink at all for some 29 year now. I am also an alcoholic. The middle ground who go to far for their own good was never me.

I am just curious. And pressing my luck…because I dont care. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Because of the delta – alcohol consumption is decreasing, not increasing. Compared to 1980, alcohol consumption per capita is down in the US by 9%, down by 30% in France, 24% in Germany, down 25% in Australia.



That is a reasonable point of view for public policy.

As information the study is important on the individual level. How intrusive we are on the individual level about alcohol is not a simple topic. In fact the US and EU have come closer together on a few things concerning alcohol. Drunk driving is not permitted so that leads to less consumption. The amount of vacation time legally required by employers for employees in the EU has generally declined as supply side econ comes into play. I do not have the break out for legally required vacation time country by country but it is hardly the old 5 weeks as it had been in Ireland decades ago. Longer time off the job with less productivity may lead to drinking more. Just as pensions seemed to lead to compulsive gambling in retirement for some people.

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