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posted by n1 on Thursday August 28 2014, @06:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the starting-the-weekend-early dept.

An article by Stanton Peele makes the case that there is strong evidence that reasonable levels of drinking are healthy, and if fact beneficial to your health compared with abstinence.

For all levels of drinking, including the highest one, for both men and women, death rates did not reach those for abstainers.

[...] Of course, abstainers may not drink because they are already ill. Thus the meta-analysis relied on studies that eliminated subjects who are abstaining due to illness, or else contrast drinkers with lifetime abstainers.

There isn't a list of references in the article, but this study may be one of the supporting ones: Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women: An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies.

There are, no doubt, reasonable criticisms that can be made, but there does seem to be a case for saying that drinking some alcohol is beneficial.

Article also published in: Pacific Standard Magazine

 
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  • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:11PM

    by Lagg (105) on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:11PM (#86868) Homepage Journal

    I seem to recall pretty much my entire life and before that the rule of thumb is that a sip of wine is good for everyone, even pregnant women. I guess it's nice to have a revisiting of the idea in 2014 though now that we're familiar with the effects and composition of it.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:43PM

    by frojack (1554) on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:43PM (#86891) Journal

    American culture has a tendency to become very absolutist on many subjects, and only slowly to admit wrong-headedness when the facts are in. It engenders total bans or outright criminalization of things based on the flimsiest of evidence, before research is even complete.

    Coffee is bad for you. It will stunt children's growth.
    Salt is bad for you, everyone must cut down on salt.
    Peanuts should never be served because some people have Peanut Allergies. (We did that to ourselves [sciencemag.org]).
    Marijuana is bad for you and a reefer today locks you into Heroin tomorrow.

    It turns out that there is a very small window of time where exposure to alcohol in the womb presents any danger at all, and the mother has to be a fairly heavy drinker to have any risk at all [wikipedia.org]. Her daily glass of wine isn't a problem. But in typical nanny state thinking, BAN It ALL, and the father shouldn't drink either out of sympathy or something.

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    • (Score: 2) by MrGuy on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:02PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:02PM (#86897)

      You forgot "Fats [soylentnews.org] are much worse for you than carbohydrates. [soylentnews.org]"

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:08PM

        by frojack (1554) on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:08PM (#86901) Journal

        Agreed, the list is pretty much endless.

        Throw in a religious element and things get even worse.

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        • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Thursday August 28 2014, @10:30PM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 28 2014, @10:30PM (#86943) Journal

          Throw in a religious element and things get even worse.

          You'll never see me eating a Bible.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday August 29 2014, @09:52AM

            by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday August 29 2014, @09:52AM (#87109) Journal

            Eating it is probably healthier for you than reading it.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @02:18PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @02:18PM (#87203)
              My mind can certainly cope with its contents better than my stomach can cope with eating a book.

              Perhaps you should become one of those Dawkin atheists and gain a healthy independent mind. ;)
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by tathra on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:34PM

      by tathra (3367) on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:34PM (#86905)

      Marijuana is bad for you and a reefer today locks you into Heroin tomorrow.

      that one doesn't really belong because all drugs (except the white man's drug, alcohol) were criminalized due to racism* [io9.com] and little else. the science on pretty much all drugs shows lots of benefits and very few negatives, but there wasn't even any flimsy evidence used in banning them, just outright racism.

      * yeah, the link is only about marijuana's criminalization, but if you care to research it you'll see its true for all the rest as well.

      • (Score: 1) by Jesus_666 on Friday August 29 2014, @11:52AM

        by Jesus_666 (3044) on Friday August 29 2014, @11:52AM (#87148)
        Well, that and Hearst trying to protect his investments in certain industries like cotton and timber (IIRC). Never underestimate the power of a media mogul, especially when his money is at stake.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:45PM (#86912)

      It turns out that there is a very small window of time where exposure to alcohol in the womb presents any danger at all, and the mother has to be a fairly heavy drinker to have any risk at all.

      Being a heavy drinker may be required for real damage, but the timeline where the damage can occur is not a small window, its basically from week 3 on [asu.edu], with the worst damage being done if drinking between weeks 3 and 8.

      A daily glass of wine may be acceptable during the 3rd trimester, but it should absolutely be avoided for the first trimester.

    • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:47PM

      by Lagg (105) on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:47PM (#86914) Homepage Journal

      Even though I'm american myself I tend to agree. Because of this narrow and black and white mindset, I see people suffering pretty much once every month because of the "X is bad for you it must be banned forevar" stuff. I sure hope that we can fix this someday.

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      • (Score: 4, Funny) by fliptop on Friday August 29 2014, @01:53AM

        by fliptop (1666) on Friday August 29 2014, @01:53AM (#87006) Journal

        I see people suffering pretty much once every month because of the "X is bad for you it must be banned forevar" stuff. I sure hope that we can fix this someday.

        You want to ban banning?

        --
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    • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Thursday August 28 2014, @09:59PM

      by buswolley (848) on Thursday August 28 2014, @09:59PM (#86935)

      Not just American cultures, but almost all cultures will be absolutists about some things, and relativists about others. Picking out Americans is just more bullshit.

      --
      subicular junctures
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 28 2014, @10:35PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 28 2014, @10:35PM (#86945) Journal

        Not just American cultures, but almost all cultures will be absolutists about some things, and relativists about others. Picking out Americans is just more bullshit.

        Yeap, pretty much correlates with the protestant extremists (puritan) culture - the tendency towards righteousness may play a role; catholics are more inclined towards authoritarianism.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @08:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @08:36AM (#87094)

      Coffee is bad for you. It will stunt children's growth.

      Well, fortunately I'm adult, and I don't need any further growth.