Benefits There are many studies that discuss the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. However, many of the messages are mixed.
Adam 27 Comments It has probably not escaped your attention that the Department of Health published new guidelines for alcohol consumption on Friday. These guidelines recommend lower limits than the previous guidelines, namely no more than 14 units per week.
The figure is the same for men and women.
There are many odd things about these guidelines. I do not work either for the alcohol industry or in public health, so professionally speaking, I have no dog in this fight.
However, at a personal level, I do like a glass of wine or two with my dinner, which I have pretty much every day. So my own drinking habits fall within the recommended limits of the previous guidelines no more than 4 units per day for menbut under the new guidelines I would be classified as an excessive drinker.
Do bear that in mind when reading this blogpost. I have tried to be as impartial as possible, but we are of course all subject to biases in the way we assess evidence, and I cannot claim that my assessment is completely unaffected by being classified as a heavy drinker under the new guidelines.
So, how were the new guidelines developed? This was a mixture of empirical evidence, mathematical modelling, and the judgement of the guidelines group.
However, it was not always easy to figure out Alcohol consumption research paper evidence was used, so they get considerably less good marks for being transparent about the precise evidence that led to the guidelines.
Very few statements in the guidelines document are explicitly referenced. The Canadian definition of acceptable risk was a relative risk of alcohol-related mortality of 1, in other words, the point at which the overall risk associated with drinking, taking account of both beneficial and harmful effects, was the same as the risk for a non-drinker.
In practice, both methods gave similar results, so choosing between them is not important. To calculate the the levels of alcohol that would correspond to those risks, a mathematical model was used which incorporated empirical data on 43 diseases which are known to be associated with alcohol consumption.
Risks for each were considered, and the total mortality attributable to alcohol was calculated from those risks although the precise mathematical calculations used were not described in sufficient detail for my liking.
These results are summarised in the following table table 1 in both the guidelines document and the Sheffield report.
Results are presented separately for men and women, and also separately depending on how many days each week are drinking days. The more drinking days you have per week for the same weekly total, the less you have on any given day.
So weekly limits are higher if you drink 7 days per week than if you drink 1 day per week, because of the harm involved with binge drinking if you have your entire weekly allowance on just one day. Assuming that drinking is spread out over a few days a week, these figures are roughly in the region of 14, so that is where the guideline figure comes from.
The same figure is now being used for men and women. Something you may have noticed about the table above is that it implies the safe drinking limits are lower for men than for women.
Nonetheless, the rationale is explained in the report. That sounds reasonably plausible, although no supporting evidence is offered for the statement. To be honest, I find this result surprising. According to table 6 on page 35 of the Sheffield modelling reportdeaths from the chronic effects of alcohol eg cancer are about twice as common as deaths from the acute affects of alcohol eg getting drunk and falling under a bus.
We also know that women are more susceptible than men to the longer term effect of alcohol. And yet it appears that the acute effects dominate this analysis. Unfortunately, although the Sheffield report is reasonably good at explaining the inputs to the mathematical model, specific details of how the model works are not presented.
So it is impossible to know why the results come out in this surprising way and whether it is reasonable. There are some other problems with the model.
I think the most important one is that the relationship between alcohol consumption and risk was often assumed to be linear.This chart summarizes state statutes that allow for the direct shipment of alcoholic beverages to consumers. People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax.
Alcohol often has a strong effect on people – and throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power. This study examined the level of insight into alcohol-related problems and its associations with the severity of alcohol consumption, mental health status, race, and the level of acculturation among indigenous populations with alcohol problems in southern Taiwan.
Alcohol Consumption Among College Students as a Function of Attitudes, Intentions, and Perceptions of Norms. Deanna Amy Meier A Research Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in and non-alcohol specials including questions for each ad, and a completion page.
Addressing liver disease in the UK: a blueprint for attaining excellence in health care and reducing premature mortality from lifestyle issues of excess consumption of alcohol, obesity, and viral hepatitis. It has probably not escaped your attention that the Department of Health published new guidelines for alcohol consumption on Friday.
These guidelines recommend lower limits than the previous guidelines, namely no more than 14 units per week.