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Alcohol reduces risk of heart disease – and obesit

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Alcohol reduces risk of heart disease – and obesity

Men who drink daily have a lower risk of having a heart attack, according to a research study published in the latest issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal. The study of middle aged men and women 50 – 65 revealed that the more frequently men drank the lower the risk of coronary heart disease. Men who drank every day had a lower risk of heart disease than those who drank less frequently or not at all and there was a direct correlation between the number of days per week alcohol was consumed and the reduction in risk.

However the same was not true for women where the quantity drank was more important. Women who drank alcohol on at least one day a week had a lower risk of coronary heart disease than women who drank alcohol on less than one day a week the study found. However the greater the quantity women drank the lower the risk of heart disease with the lowest risk category being women who drank over 14 drinks over 2-4 days a week.

An interesting finding is that frequent drinkers, whether they were male or female, were less likely to be overweight or obese. However daily drinkers and infrequent drinkers (those who consumed less than one drink a week) were more likely to be smokers and to have a lower intake of fruit and vegetables.

On the basis of this research it is reasonable to question whether the current legislative prohibitions of informing consumers of the health benefits of alcohol on labelling and advertising is justified. It is clear that alcohol reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and has the added bonus of frequency reducing obesity. Whether or not consumers are entitled to that knowledge in advertising and labelling is a matter for legislators and policymakers to ponder.

Director
Foundation for Advertising Research

ENDS

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