Many Americans reject "health benefits of alcohol" myth

September 4, 2015

gallup chart

A recent Gallup poll indicates that a nearly a third of Americans believe moderate drinking is bad for one’s health. The same poll found that less than 20% of Americans believe alcohol is good for their health - the lowest percentage researchers have seen in years. Despite Big Alcohol funding researchers to attempt to produce positive health findings about drinking, the amount of people who believe the industry "drinking is good for your health" line has consistently decreased.

More and more of us are considering the evidence shared by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other public health organizations:

- Alcohol is a leading cause of health problems and harm worldwide, and contributes to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions.

- Alcohol poses more disease burden than tobacco and other drugs in areas of the globe including Africa, the Americas, and the Western Pacific.

- Alcohol causes death and disability relatively early in life. About 25% of the total deaths for 20 - 39 year olds are alcohol-attributable.

- Drinking as little as 1.5 drinks/day accounts for up to 35% of alcohol-attributable cancers in the U.S. Women who engage in light to moderate   
  drinking are at greater risk for alcohol-related cancers, particularly breast cancer.

The costs of alcohol-related harm (including injuries, noncommunicable disease, infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, mental and emotional disorders, deaths, and years of life lost) are both significant and avoidable. As leading alcohol policy researchers recently suggested, the hypothesis of health benefits from alcohol consumption should no longer play a role in policy-making.