Drinking and causality

Here’s info on yet another report that suggests drinking is good for one’s health. Though far be it from me to protest the conclusions, I do have to admit to lingering doubts surrounding issues of correlation and causality.

It seems to me, frankly, that people who have the interest, time, and money to engage in moderate nightly drinking are probably those more apt to lead generally healthy lifestyles and have more positive outlooks in life.

For instance, so much has been made about the French having fewer heart attacks than Americans, and wine consumption is usually the ‘reason’ cited. But did it ever occur to folks that maybe the French have fewer heart attacks than we do because they’re simply less stressed? After all, they’ve traditionally enjoyed delightfully long, lingering social meals… no doubt in part because their culture doesn’t look kindly upon 80 hour work weeks, either.

Perhaps these alcohol / heart attack studies took stress levels into consideration, but if not, I’d seriously question their conclusions.






What do you think?