3rd of May 2018 by C. Scott McMillin. From Recovery SI.

It appears that the alcohol industry, like the tobacco industry and the oil and gas industry and others whose products represent a significant health risk, has long sought to accumulate scientific evidence to contradict that reality. Given the amount of revenue involved, this should be no mystery to any of us.  They’re seeking a kind of legitimacy that paid advertising simply cannot provide.

Fortunately for the corporations, modern research has become so costly that scientists who want to conduct it must range far and wide for funding. Outside the government and few giant foundations, there’s really only one major source for that level of investment: the purveyors themselves. And it seems that even government agencies like NIAAA have aggressively pursued corporate cash.

What corporations want and need is science that seems to confirm your biases, so those that can hold up to counter the critics, and especially to claim that your product, if used properly, is good for your customers.

So how does industry-funded research arrive at the conclusion that moderate drinking, usually defined as two per day for men, and half that for women, actually benefit our health? By failing to take into account the abstainer bias. That describes the influence of former drinkers in a sample. They’re usually counted along with other nondrinkers, those who have never engaged in drinking at all.

But the category also includes people in recovery, many of whom have already experienced damage to their health from past drinking. Their presence in significant numbers will bias the sample of nondrinkers, making it seem as if their health status is worse than it actually is.

Once those former drinkers have been excluded, that bias disappears– and with it, the alleged benefits of moderate drinking.

 

To read the full article click on the following link: https://treatmentandrecoverysystems.com/when-alcohol-pays-for-research/ .

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