Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Editor's Letter

 

Alcohol-Health Link Reconfirmed

October 2011
 
by Jim Gordon
 
 
 
CLICK PHOTO TO PLAY VIDEO: Editor Jim Gordon discusses new CDC findings on the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.

The long-known but long-downplayed connection between wine and health has been validated again. This time it was confirmed by no less an authority than the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recently published results of a study that stressed moderate alcohol consumption as one of four low-risk lifestyle behaviors that can have a very positive effect on people’s mortality—in other words, how long they live.

Good news about wine and health has been circulating for more than 20 years, and various studies have linked moderate wine consumption to people who live longer. So the nugget of the announcement by the CDC was not startling. What really got my attention was that almost no one thought it deserved attention.

The study received minimal media coverage. The news reached Wines & Vines via a press release from the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., trying to spread interest in the CDC study.

Statement so strong
My perspective was that a statement so strong about alcohol and good health coming from a federal agency—and barely causing a ripple—shows how far our American culture has come. Remember, the United States banned alcoholic beverages for more than a decade beginning in 1920. Until the 1990s it was politically incorrect to speak about drinking as a good thing in any way, shape or form.

Roughly 30% of U.S. adults today still don’t drink alcohol due to religious or personal beliefs and tastes. So for a public agency to affirm so clearly that alcohol in moderation is good for one’s longevity is a turning point worth celebrating.

Here are the four healthy behaviors that the CDC says are associated with living longer:

• having never smoked,
• eating a healthy diet,
• getting regular physical activity,
• moderate alcohol consumption.

We all knew already that smoking was bad, and that a healthy diet and regular exercise were good. But now, we also know that moderate alcohol consumption is in the same league as these other obviously healthy habits.

The CDC study concludes that people who do all four of these things live 11 years longer on average than people who don’t. The study doesn’t make a distinction between people who drink wine vs. beer or distilled spirits.

The study, “Low Risk Lifestyle Behaviors and All-Cause Mortality: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study,” was published online recently in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers analyzed data from 16,958 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study from 1988 to 2006.

Each choice of lifestyle behavior was found to be significant by itself, but the greatest benefit was when moderate alcohol consumption was combined with the other three behaviors. The researchers cited a number of studies reporting potential health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption including reduced all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The researchers also cited “the well-documented harm caused by excessive alcohol use.”

Reluctant to embrace
One section in the CDC’s own news release about the study said: “This study adds to the mounting evidence of the substantial gain in life associated with healthy behaviors and underscores the need for the clinical and public health communities to work together to promote greater adoption of these behaviors.”

This sounds like a subtle endorsement by the CDC of alcohol consumption as a healthy behavior. Most past statements by public health agencies have stressed the need to be moderate, as if everyone drank too much already. I am not a lawyer, but I think this new study encourages health professionals to suggest that drinking is better for you than not drinking, if you want to live a long and healthy life.

All of us in the wine industry can drink to that—moderately, of course!

 
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
December 2014 $776 million
3%
$7,866 million
5%
December 2013 $755 million $7,470 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
December 2014 $166 million
14%
$1,820 million
15%
December 2013 $145 million $1,576 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
December 2014 155
27%
229
14%
December 2013 122 200
     
 
MORE » Released on 01.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • January 23-25
     
    Naples Winter Wine Festival
     
  • January 27
     
    Wine Market Council Research Conference, New York
     
  • January 27-29
     
    Unified Wine & Grape Symposium
     
  • January 28
     
    Working with Third Party Reviewers
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Wine Flash Sales Activity Still Strong »
 
Thanks for the comment. It's a good point. We have added a line to the...
Reader: Jim Gordon
 
Article: Wine Flash Sales Activity Still Strong »
 
The bar chart at the top of this article is misleading. Nowhere in the chart...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting the Effects of Wine Closures »
 
I am a few months behind on reading so I was happy to see what...
Reader: David Coffaro
 
Article: B.C.'s Higher Markups Worry U.S. Exporters »
 
I suggest that the new mark-up structure worries BC fine wine drinkers as much as...
Reader: Marc Ofthenorth
 
Article: Wine Gadget Dodges Sharks »
 
Good choice to not take the deal. You have a much needed item that wine...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Store Manager Wine & ...
 Bronx, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Visitor Center Sales A...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Gai Bottling Line Oper...
 Willcox, AZ
Winemaking and Production
 Winery Bookeeeper & Bu...
 Newberg, OR
Finance
 Experienced Fine Wine ...
 Ft. Myers, FL
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Sales Associate
 Waltham, MA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Beer, Wine And Spirits...
 Washington, DC
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Accounts Payable Speci...
 St. Helena, CA
Finance
 Technical Sales & Serv...
 Ukiah, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Special Events Coordin...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.