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Lancet study needs to be put in context, says NZABC

Lancet study needs to be put in context, says NZABC

The latest Lancet study releasing apparently sobering reading for the 80% of Kiwis who enjoy a drink needs to be considered in context, says the New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council.

“This study fulfills the agenda of the international anti-alcohol lobby who fund it,” says Executive Director Nick Leggett.

“The findings that there is no safe level of alcohol will be an anathema to most New Zealanders, who drink alcohol responsibly and enjoy it with no ill effects.”

Nick Leggett says the human race has thousands of years of history and 50 years of research showing moderate use of alcohol can be enjoyed, and that on average moderate drinkers continue to outlive those who abstain.

“Like everything we do in life, there are risks associated with having a drink. Most people understand those risks and accept them. We would liken moderate alcohol use to about the same level of risk as driving in a car. The risk will come as no surprise and we choose to take them every day for convenience and pleasure.

“The study does not offer any new scientific findings. Rather, it supports earlier studies on alcohol as a risk factor for global burden of disease, and that mortality, particularly relating to cancers, increases with increased consumption.

“Previous meta-analyses showing the protective effects of moderate drinking on all-cause mortality, heart disease, and diabetes are still valid and represent a stronger form of evidence than this global modelling estimate.

“New Zealand’s publicly funded anti-alcohol lobbyists will use this study as further ammunition to assault the public and political mind-set, but it does not change the state of the science on alcohol and health.

“One swallow doesn’t make a summer, as they say.”


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