It’s official. Scientists are total buzzkills. After countless studies telling us “a glass of red wine is good for your heart” and a recent one telling us tequilla is good for your bones (yes, seriously), the most comprehensive alcohol health study yet has concluded that no amount of alcohol is good for you.
The Lancet Health Journal released a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded study Thursday that drew data from people aged 15 to 95 from 195 locations over the time period of 1990 to 2016. They found that alcohol “is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss.”
Their suggestion for lowering health loss? Stop drinking alcohol.
“We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero,” the study says.
The researchers suggest that the global drinking guidelines need to be revised in light of the new findings and that governments and international organizations should be “refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.”
The Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction’s current guidelines say that “healthy” drinking limits are no more than 10 drinks a week with no more than two drinks most days for women and 15 drinks a week with no more than three drinks a day for men. The guidelines also address “special occasions” where women should have no more than three drinks and men no more than four on a single occasion.
The study was conducted with the contradicting narratives about the dangers and benefits of alcohol in mind and with the intention of dispelling some of the confusion surrounding it. Looks like they succeeded.
Guess we’re skipping the booze this weekend, we should probably be drinking more water anyway.