Over the years we’ve all heard about the supposed health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Like a gift from the gods of science, various studies praising the benefits of wine, beer and even small amounts of liquor enabled casual boozehounds to claim they were “just being healthy” as they uncorked their fourth bottle of wine at dinner.
Well, bad news, barflies: the days of boozing for your health might be over. According to new research out of New Zealand, the answers to all your health problems aren’t, in fact, found at the bottle of a bottle of Two Buck Chuck. Alcohol’s reputation as some sort of cardiovascular elixir is, as we always feared, bogus.
Researchers at New Zealand’s Massey University analyzed the health data of over 2,900 adults who participated in a multi-year study on aging and its impacts on health. The study included non-drinkers, moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers.
While initial analysis showed that moderate drinkers were indeed the healthiest of all participants, the researchers found that their moderate alcohol consumption had absolutely nothing to do with their better health.
Instead, researchers found that good health boiled down to nothing fancier than being straight up rich. Participant’s socioeconomic status, not what flavor of Mad Dog 20/20 they ingested, was the biggest factor in maintaining good health throughout the years.
However, people who are rich are also just moderate drinkers — richer people drank one to two drinks a night were, while both the non-drinkers and heavy drinkers in the study tended to be over lower socioeconomic status. This relates directly to an overall healthier lifestyle as people in high socioeconomic brackets will have greater access to health care, exercise and a good diet.
As the lead researcher, Dr. Andy Towers put it, “Moderate drinkers tend to be wealthier with lifestyles that encourage good health.” Towers also mentions that, “Our results support a growing international body of research showing there is little evidence of any health benefit of alcohol use for younger or older people that cannot be explained by other lifestyle factors.”
So basically, the key to longevity is money. Like everything else in life, your health is at its best when you have deep pockets. When you’re sitting pretty on stacks of cash you get to drive the coolest cars, drink the nicest wines and get the best medical treatment. Ain’t life a bitch sometimes?
Sorry winos, we guess this means you can no longer blame your drinking habit on your quest to stay healthy. Unless of course you’re rich, if that’s the case drink on, Daddy Warbucks, drink on. At least then you’ll be able to afford that liver transplant down the road.