In My Humble Opinion, The Latest News On Alcohol Isn't Good

Sherry McGuinn

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This morning as I mounted my stationary bike to take a five-mile ride to nowhere, I decided to check into All Bad News, All The Time, aka CNN, for a couple of minutes.

I managed to tune in just as the sour-pussed anchors were bemoaning the results of a study from the World Health Organization stating that no amount of alcohol is good for the heart. That’s in “none.” Not a friggin’ drop.

Jesus. Talk about a bunch of party poopers.

The head of the advocacy committee that released the report, major buzz-kill Beatriz Champagne (!) who is also executive director of the InterAmerican Heart Foundation said “Evidence has increasingly shown that there is no level of alcohol consumption that is safe for health.”

How can this be? What bizarre stratosphere are we living in? Tune into any TV show or film where the protagonists are affluent and every character in them is quaffing wine from glasses that never saw a water-mark, or sipping treacly-looking scotch and bourbon poured from crystal decanters.

Watch Big Little Lies with Reese Witherspoon and that’s all the characters do. Drink and bitch.

And it’s not just the well-heeled who are well-lubed. Even the poor folk are knocking back (cheap) wine and beer. I should know. I buy cheap wine all the time.

Booze is everywhere. It’s a thing, people. Unless of course, you’re in my camp and have a wee bit of an “issue” with the drink.

Now, this is horrible news any time, but during a pandemic? And climate change? And nefarious doings by Republicans? You might as well take away our well-worn, Covid-appropriate apparel. You know. Like the baggy pants with the ass-seat you can practically see through.

Naturally, the release of this study brought out the critics, like Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation who countered with, “There are some scientific studies that support their headline, but based on my work on the Global Burden of Disease Study, which pulls together all the available evidence to date, the claim by the WHF is not supported by the scientific evidence currently available.”

This didn’t stop the ironically-named Champagne, though, who fired back, “In brief, our position is that studies showing a significant cardioprotective effect of alcohol consumption have by-and-large been observational, inconsistent, funded by the alcohol industry, and/or not subject to randomized control. Furthermore, any potential cardioprotective effect is negated by the well-documented risks and harms, rendering our judgment that no amount of consumption can be considered good for heart health.”

Oy.

What about all that bullshit about resveratrol, a chemical abundant in red grapes that had many of us guzzling Cabernet, Merlot, and Pino Grigio like there was no tomorrow?

Hell, I even purchased resveratrol in capsule form until I read that it can affect estrogen levels. A definite thumbs down for someone who had breast cancer.

Years ago, “they” said, in “multiple studies” that resveratrol has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to protect us against diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Other benefits have been attributed to the chemical as well, like anti-aging and weight loss. That said, we’ll swallow nearly anything that says it contributes to weight loss. Anything.

So, what the ever-loving F are we to believe?

I think we all know that drinking too much alcohol can negatively affect our health in ways that are too scary for some of us to contemplate. Stroke. Cancer. Heart attack. Plus, excessive booze use can lead to injuries and cause us to act like full-tilt assholes in public. I’ve done the legwork. I know.

Yet, what happened to “everything in moderation?”

In fact, The American Heart Association, says “moderation is key” when it comes to alcohol, which is defined as no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.

And therein lies that proverbial rub. One drink? Why bother? What’s next? One Lays? One Goldfish? One Oreo?

Cheers, all.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. She is currently pitching her newest screenplay, “The Month We Fell Apart,” a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story, as well as “DEAD TIRED,” a female-driven, ass-kicking thriller.

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