A few days ago I flippantly touted an article about the supposed positive effects of moderate alcohol consumption. It was more of a satirical kneejerk comment on how science is often exaggerated and misreported by media. Since I like to drink booze my confirmation bias lobe was titillated and I merrily popped out a facetious post. If I like to drink alcohol and an article’s headline is “Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers, Study Finds” that’s good enough for me to quell any fears about my booze habits. A critical thinker though should recognize this as a red flag and investigate further or take with the tiniest grain of margarita salt. On the serious tip, what I suspected was along the lines of Steven Novella’s critique: NeuroLogica Blog » Alcohol and Survival
I just had to set that record straight.
It’s worthy to also bring up that any one study is unlikely to mean anything significant for anybody in the short term. Too often people get frustrated reading articles who say thing like “wine is good for you” one day and then the next say “wine is bad”. Even if one study was to find wine harmful, more studies will be needed to confirm the findings and then to filter through the health professionals. Cracking open a study in an attempt to discern is really horribly not fun for me. I’ll let the experts hash it out and seek their guidance and that’s what I do. I have a registered dietitian I trust and if I ever do have a concern I’ll seek her educated opinion. Articles like the one in Time, for now, are a mild amusement.