Beer is very healthy

Craft beer is booming in North America and, while the industry is fun and vibrant and its growth is doing much to support local economies, did you know that a recently-released study can be very narrowly interpreted to imply that beer is healthy?

It’s true! According to A Professor at Whatever Fucking University did a study that got picked up by the newswire this time, beer has significant health benefits.

“Sure, beer has healthy things in it,” says Professor, in a severely truncated quote I cherry-picked to support my flimsy thesis and traffic-grabbing headline.

The WFU study is interesting because it (probably) studies a large number of effects beer can have; but I am writing about the study solely for the small section of it that reiterates the fact beer contains vitamin B or antioxidants or I am possibly learning for the first time that small doses of beer contribute to better bone density or can prevent or delay osteoporosis. I really only read the study’s abstract and I have a column to file and so here we are saying beer is health food.

I am, of course, wholly ignoring statistics showing that long term heavy drinking contributes to a number of personal health, social, and societal ills and recent studies that show even small amounts of alcohol consumption can up a person’s risk for certain cancers and, instead, I’ve seized on to a tiny tidbit of this particular study to create a headline that will appeal to my drinking readers’ confirmation bias. Don’t think about your poor health, expanding waistline, and poor sleeping habits, because headline!

This is the bottom part of the article that clearly states that the study was based on “moderate consumption of beer” which is way less than you actually consume but it doesn’t matter because you’ve already shared this article on social media with a joke about you being healthy because your friends know you’re a borderline alcoholic.

*before you get all “Jeez, Ben is so negative all the time,” please note: I love beer. I support beer. I drink a lot of beer and support your choices to consume it responsibly, too. Irresponsibly sometimes as well. Beer is a lot of great things, but let’s stop pretending that it’s health food.

7 thoughts on “Beer is very healthy

  1. This is going to sound a bit extreme, but most of the research produced by epidemiology (i.e. xxx increases/decreases some disease risk) is basically junk. You can safely ignore it in favor of common sense like obviously that repeated heavy drinking is bad for you. We’ll probably never do the types of studies needed to actually determine the effects of low/moderate drinking, so yeah, agreed that we should ignore those click bate headlines making any such claim.

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s