August 24, 2018
A new study released Thursday says no level of alcohol consumption — no, not even that one glass of red wine for the antioxidants — improves your health.
The study, published in The Lancet, examined alcohol use and alcohol attributable deaths for 195 locations, worldwide, across a 26-year span beginning in 1990. Those examined in the study ranged from 15 to 95 years old.
The study was produced by researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.
It concluded, in no uncertain terms, that alcohol consumption needs to be reduced as a matter of improving public health.
“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,” the article states in its conclusions section. “Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none.”
This stands in stark contrast to the frequent studies noting one or two health benefits to drinking wine or other alcohol in moderation — which the study addressed.
“This level is in conflict with most health guidelines, which espouse health benefits associated with consuming up to two drinks per day,” the authors said. “Alcohol use contributes to health loss from many causes and exacts its toll across the lifespan, particularly among men. Policies that focus on reducing population-level consumption will be most effective in reducing the health loss from alcohol use.”
In 2016, the study noted, alcohol use led to 2.8 million deaths and was the leading risk factor for premature death and disability among people ages 15 to 49 years old.