July 8 2014

Alarmism or An Epidemic of Alcoholism?

Julie Gunlock

I was out last week on vacation so I’m late to commenting on this absolutely comical CNN report from a few weeks ago. But wowzers, this one is just too important not to comment.

According to CNN, I am (and basically everyone I know is) a raging alcoholic.

Who knew?

CNN reports that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Women are considered ‘heavy drinkers’ if they have eight or more drinks a week.”

Eight? Huh? Wait…let me think about this for a second. Aren’t there 7 days in a week? Uh huh. So that means I’m a boozehound if I drink a glass and a splash of wine a day?

Gawd…I’m in trouble.  And so are you!

But….but…what about that thing about a glass of wine a night being good for heart health. What about all that talk of moderate wine consumption helping with weight loss, boosting immunity, and helping to prevent bone loss.

I’m so confused. And I bet you are too.

But more than confused, I’m annoyed. This type of alarmism is exactly what makes people turn away from medical advice. They hear one thing one moment, only to have that advice contradicted a few months later.

It's no wonder an IWF poll found that a vast majority of women have trouble finding reliable information on health and wellness issues.

What’s reassuring is to see buried in the bottom of the CNN story (so you’ll never see it through your tears after you’ve come to realize you’re a hopeless alcoholic) this sentence: “studies show the mortality rate for people who drink moderately on a daily basis is actually lower than those who don't indulge.”

Women who read or saw this puritanical CNN report and immediately dumped their box-o-wine, might also be reassured to know that according to the 2011 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among women age 26 and older, only 2.6 percent of the population would be considered heavy drinkers which was up only .4 percent from 2002 data. That hardly seems a reason to panic.

So, try to ignore these types of hysterical health warnings and pour yourself a heart-healthy, bone fortifying glass of wine. 

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