Those Studies Showing that Drinking Is Good For You Were Funded By Big Alcohol Companies
In a landscape full of bad news, a study finding that moderate drinking promoted heart health or that booze was better for nonagenarians than exercise always shone a ray of light. But a series of new reports suggest that the benefits of alcohol may be overstated, in part because of industry influence on studies examining the health effects of boozing. According to HuffPost:
If you’ve ever seen headlines about how red wine is good for your heart, or how moderate alcohol use is linked to longer life, you’ve seen the alcohol industry’s influence on health science at work. And Americans seem to be swallowing that message. A 2015 Gallup poll found that 1 in 5 Americans believe “moderate” drinking is good for health, and that this was especially true among those who drink alcohol.
Last month, The New York Times reported that a 10-year, $100 million study currently underway at the National Institutes of Health was largely funded by alcohol companies, who donated based on the expectation that the study will find that mild drinking is healthy. (In the wake of this scandal, the NIH says it is now looking at these reports in a “very aggressive way.”)
The problem with advocating for "moderate drinking" is that moderation is of course a highly subjective measurement. In fact, the more we like what we’re eating—or in this case, drinking—the larger the portion of it we consider to be moderate becomes. The only rule of thumb seems to be that everything we enjoy consuming is in fact bad for us, and our options are to die elderly monks or young bon vivants.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.