The Case for Drinking

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Toast in the new year knowing that a couple of drinks a day may help keep the doctor away. (In addition to protecting against heart attack and stroke, moderate amounts of booze can even help prevent amputated limbs.)

Why don't busybody public health activists think people can be trusted with this knowledge?

NEXT: Ludd At First Sight

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  1. Actually, they (finally) have:

    http://www.sciam.com/print_version.cfm?articleID=0007C5B6-7152-1DF6-9733809EC588EEDF

    this article in Scientific American includes a rebuilt “food pyramid” better in touch with nutritional science and includes a note on the healthful effects of moderate drinking. It notes, however, that no drinking is more healthful than drinking to excess.

    I find that pyramid a little harshly anti-meat and, strangely, anti-rice, but it does dispell the “all fat is bad” notion and notes that basically weight loss is acheived through expending more calories than you consume.

  2. A generation ago, Hans Selye in Canada showed that smokers in high stress jobs fared better in health than their non smoking co-workers. He also found that non smokers in low stress environments fared best of all. The costs and benefits of smoking were, therefor, situationally dependent.

    Moral? Smoking is not a simplistic Manichean phenomenon. I expect costs and benefits of alcohol (and guns and bicycle helmets and…) to have variable parameters as well.

    Where is critical analysis and evaluation? Where is full scope cost vs. benefit study? Where is critical thinking in our politicians? The problem may be that our elected officials don’t have the knowledge, or just don’t know what to make of it. It takes a truly simple mind to see only black and white, and to enact knee-jerk laws for ‘this’ and against ‘that’.

    Our problem is that we do not often elect society’s brightest and best.

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