The alcohol industry has sufficiently promoted the message that moderate drinking is good for health. Alcohol companies have gone to the extent of funding and promoting studies related to alcohol use suggesting that moderate drinking increases the lifespan of the user and reduces the chance of suffering from a heart disease, diabetes and even dementia. In fact, a 10-year clinical trial worth $100 million is being funded majorly by liquor firms to determine the impact of one drink a day in reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, despite the false claims, America’s drinking habit are way beyond moderate drinking levels.
As per experts, what is further baffling is the fact that none of these studies were conducted using standard parameters. While the U.S. Dietary Guidelines published by the Department of Agriculture define moderate drinking as having no more than one drink a day for women and two for men, several surveys have revealed that most alcohol users define moderate consumption as however much they usually drink. So, even if it is assumed that moderate drinking might have certain health benefits, who defines or measures this “moderate drinking” behavior and what can encourage people to follow it still remains unexplored. Even if the single standard of measure exists, the concept of moderate drinking is vague and individually varying. People can hardly recognize when they need alcohol abuse support or alcohol addiction programs to lead better lives.
Alcohol industry plays with mindsets
Alcohol has been an intrinsic part of many cultures for decades. While several initiatives promoting awareness about ideal drinking habits continue to be launched and promoted on a regular basis, the sad truth is that many people still do not give a serious thought to their drinking habit. For most, drinking is a part of the lifestyle. For many, it is a necessity they cannot survive with. And the alcohol industry seems to be playing on the minds of such users by giving them exactly what they want.
This is possibly why the problem of alcohol abuse and addiction continues to be such a menace in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use was responsible for death of nearly 88,000 American lives each year between 2006 and 2010. In 2015, 15.7 million Americans aged 12 or older reported alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the past year while about one in two current users were binge-drinkers in the past month. What could be an occasional behavior for one person may be an exception for someone else. Hence, claims by the alcohol industry can neither be substantiated with sufficient evidence nor they can be considered conclusive and completely reliable.
Need for stricter laws and awareness programs
With the tendency of people to manipulate their drinking habit as per their convenience, it is necessary for the regulating bodies to ensure that the federal guidelines pertaining to alcohol use, abuse and addiction are being advocated properly and followed by people. Unless the people are made aware about the implications of alcohol use and its consequences on their health and life, the nation might be heading towards another public health crisis. Further, there is a need to impose stricter laws pertaining to issues like drunk driving, domestic violence after drinking and any kind of abuse resulting from intoxication.
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