When it comes to health prescriptions, is there anything more controversial than alcohol consumption? It seems that every few months a new study hits the press, either praising the health merits of booze or telling you why it’s ruining your life (or at the very least, your liver).
About 64 percent of the American population consumes alcohol, a number that’s held steady since the first alcohol-related Gallup poll in 1939. What has changed? We’re drinking more and more often, and some analysts think that’s due in part to a perceived notion that alcohol is good for us. Which might be true.
But if you follow the science, things aren’t so cut and dry. On one day liquor’s making you fat (so many calories!), the next it’s keeping you thin (drinkers eat less dessert!). It may be causing your depression or it could be your biggest stress buster. For the longest time conventional wisdom seemed to say that it all came back to moderation. But then this past August a new study blew the lid off of that theory too, concluding that even heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers.
Don’t believe us? Click through the slideshow above see this and other shocking, and totally contradictory, studies about America’s favorite poison. Just in time for the holidays.