Alcohol and Health: Should the Public Know the Truth?

by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

The U.S. federal government has published a detailed analysis of the research evidence on alcohol and health. It supports the consensus of medical researchers that the moderate consumption of alcohol is more healthful than either abstaining or abusing alcohol.

Unfortunately, many people don’t want this information known. Nor do they want the public to know about the estimate that if everyone in the U.S. abstained from alcohol, it would lead to an increase of 80,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year. Studies demonstrate that the moderate consumption of alcohol saves more lives than are lost as a result of its abuse.

This has led the Scripps Howard News Service to pose an important question:

“Should this news be kept quiet? Of course not. The American people should be treated as adults, not as ill-disciplined children certain to misuse the truth if it comes their way. The facts are not going to turn us into a nation of nonstop boozers. But they may lengthen some lives.” 1

 

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