Moderate drinkers are more likely to report above average health, compared with lifetime abstainers, light drinkers and heavy drinkers, according to new research published in the July/August issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, who wanted to find out how different levels of drinkers felt about their health.
This study looked at 2002 data from a survey of US households representing more than 31,000 adults. The survey was conducted by the US Census Bureau for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The survey contained questions about alcohol consumption, health behaviors and chronic health conditions. Moderate drinking was defined as four to 14 drinks a week for men and four to seven drinks a week for women.
The male participants who reported moderate drinking were 1.27 times more likely to report above-average health, compared with those who were lifetime abstainers and former light drinkers. The moderate drinking women were more than twice as likely as abstainers to report above-average health.
“Our results suggest that a moderate amount of drinking is not necessarily dangerous for most people and may actually be health-promoting,” said French, lead author.
Source: French MT, Zavala SK. The health benefits of moderate drinking revisited: alcohol use and self-reported health status Am J Health Promo 21(6), 2007