Remember the findings that showed that alcohol is linked to breast cancer? The truth is, we weren't sure what to think about them. Can we fucking drink or or can we not??? Anyway, today's New York Times, while letting us know that we're not alone (the word "confusion" is right there in the headline!) also made us more confused. Because yeah, a higher risk of breast cancer was found among women who consumed on average more than three alcoholic drinks a day, but among those who consumed less, one drink a day didn't increase breast cancer at all and two drinks a day raised the odds only slightly. Still with us? Then get this: (emphasis ours)
Most research shows that for both men and women the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption usually outweigh the risks. Alcohol is linked to a lower risk of heart attack, diabetes, dementia and stroke, and a slightly higher risk of colon cancer. Two drinks a day raises the risk of oral cancer and esophageal cancer, but those cancers are so rare that for most people the individual increase in risk is not worrisome.
So wait, drinking is good? We can drink as much as we want? No! Moderation! And moderation for doctors is different from the moderation we have in our minds: "For men, moderate drinking translates into about two servings of alcohol a day, and for women just less than one. A serving is a glass of wine or beer, or a shot (1 to 1.25 ounces) of distilled spirits." Get that? Less that one serving. Try to think of the last time you didn't drink your entire glass of wine. We'll wait. BUT OMG BREAKING NEWS: Pregnant women can drink a glass of wine! Daily! We're not with child but yay! But, oh, wait, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that alcohol abstinence is the 'safest option'. Ugh. It's all such a mindfuck. Because, you know, an after-work cocktail is civilized. We love a bubbly and refreshing gin and tonic. Or a crisp, cold beer. Or an effervescent flute of bubbly champagne. Or a sweetly sour margarita. Jesus, we need a fucking drink.
Another Quaff of Confusion About Alcohol [NY Times]
Pregnant Women 'Safe To Drink Daily Glass Of Wine' [Daily Mail]
Earlier: Avoid Breast Cancer In 14 Not-So-Easy Steps
Three Drinks Can Cause Breast Cancer. But What About Six Drinks?