Findings are skewed by survey-based reporting and confounding factors

Washington, D.C. (December 10, 2019)–A new study was released this week that explores the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and cancer. The authors conclude that even moderate levels of drinking are associated with a heightened risk.

Below is a statement from the American Beverage Institute:

A new study investigating the connection between moderate drinking and cancer in the Japanese population should be viewed with a skeptical eye. As the authors indicate, there are limitations.

For example, alcohol consumption levels used in the analysis were rooted in survey responses that would employ extraordinary levels of recall. Respondents were required to remember the average number of drinks they consumed per day for many years; more than one-third had to remember drinking history from 40 or more years ago. Many people can’t remember what they had for dinners last week.

Authors also did not control for family history—a known factor that dictates cancer risk.

Although studies exploring human health should not be taken lightly, findings should not be taken as gospel. This study is no exception.

In Depth on the Issue

Alcohol and Health

ABI supports moderate, responsible alcohol consumption consistent with one’s own medical needs. While there is a long  standing consensus that moderate alcohol consumption can lower the risk of mortality, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases, efforts to demonize all manners of alcohol consumption have endeavored to dim this “health…
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