Unfortunately, the health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption belong to inconsistent research. Even still, the majority of experts seem to agree that the benefits rarely outweigh the associated risks.
A recent study has gone so far as to suggest that if you’re between the ages of 20 and 50, you’d be better off not touching the stuff at all.
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Published in The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, the researchers found that much of the data reported on the beneficial and adverse effects of alcohol consumption is based on older respondents. The results aren’t so optimistic when applied to younger participants – a demographic that tends to engage in much more risky behavior while under the influence.
It was found that between 2006 and 2010, 36% of alcohol-related deaths happened to people between the ages of 20 and 49 while 60% of “years of potential life lost” due to the over-consumption of alcohol occurred to individuals in that same age range. Moreover, less than 5% of the young people studied were shown to exhibit any health benefits from light alcohol consumption, compared to the 80% of individuals over 65 that showed some health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption.
The good news is that according to a survey of over 5,000 adolescents and young adults published in the Monitoring The Future Study, alcohol consumption, has declined considerably in the last fifteen years.
Leading alcohol researcher at La Trobe’s Center For Alcohol Policy Research, Dr. Michael Livingston, believes the global decline in alcohol abuse can be attributed to young people witnessing the backlash that condemned the alcoholism that was rampant in previous generations. Livingston also believes sites like Facebook and Instagram have successfully supplanted drinking as the preferred socializing muse for young people. Whatever the reason the effect has already been observable.
Livingston states: “In some indicators, we are seeing a steady reduction in things like visitation to emergency departments, late-night violence and in all kinds of other negative outcomes in the short term. Hopefully, in the longer term, some chronic disease outcomes, like heart and liver disease, and some cancers should start to fall as well.”
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