Saturday, July 24, 2004


"We know what's best for you" -- except they don't

Last month yet another scientific report was released detailing the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. That's right, the benefits of moderate drinking. But don't expect to hear about this good news from Budweiser or Bacardi.

The Federal Trade Commission prohibits brewers, vintners and distillers from communicating to consumers any factual information regarding the health benefits of their legal products....

News accounts last month summarized a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. The study by researchers in Boston found that moderate drinking reduces the risk of heart-related deaths in men with high blood pressure. Men with high blood pressure who reported imbibing one or two drinks a day were 44 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

This is not shocking news. The health benefits of moderate drinking have been known to the medical community for some time now. Alcohol is known to be good for the heart, to increase levels of so-called good cholesterol, thin the blood, ward off artery-clogging clots, and reduce the chance of heart attack. These recent findings suggest that men who suffer from hypertension can benefit from a martini or two in the evening. Researchers suspect the same is true for women, and the kind of booze doesn't seem to make a difference, either. Alcohol is alcohol, whether ingested as beer, wine or distilled spirits.

The nanny-state health Nazis do not want this kind of factual information to reach consumers. One hand-wringing neo-prohibitionist, pouring cold water on this good news, huffed that the Boston study sends "a very bad public-health message" about alcohol. For these types, there is no such thing as responsible, moderate drinking. It's prohibition or nothing....

The same restrictions apply to tobacco, if anything a product even more irrationally despised by the nanny staters than liquor. There is, for example, ample clinical evidence that switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco can dramatically reduce one's health risk. Yet the federal government and tobacco prohibitionist "health" groups refuse to recognize the facts, thus preventing such life-saving information from reaching consumers.

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