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Saturday, August 01, 2009

More Research on Beer's Health Benefits

Yet more studies suggest that beer may be good for your health.* In particular:
  • [T]he Nurses Health study... found that those who drank moderate amounts of beer (one beer) had less hypertension than nurses who drank either wine or spirits.
  • A large Kaiser Permanente survey of almost 130,000 adults showed that male beer drinkers in the group were at a statistically significantly lower risk of coronary artery disease than men who drank red wine, white wine or spirits
  • A study from Tufts School of Nutrition showed beer, either dark or light, protects bone mineral density.... People with diets high in silicon, a mineral found in dark beer, had higher bone densities and therefore a lower chance of developing osteoporosis.
In other words, "a stout a day ..."

More seriously, this is exactly the kind of research that needs to be factored into beer taxes. While drunk driving and alcohol abuse create substantial costs to society and the state, moderate drinking has consistently been associated with healthier people--who therefore lower the costs to society. If the purpose of the beer tax is to compensate for negative externalities (a pigouvian tax), then we must also consider positive externalities.

*Correlation does not equal causation. It could be that drinking moderately is a habit of already healthy people.

1 comment:

  1. What if you like beer, wine and spirits? What then?