Alcohol consumption

BC Cancer study finds light drinking just as risky as heavy drinking – Salmon Arm Observer

New research from BC Cancer experts shows that light, consistent alcohol consumption can be just as dangerous to your health as excessive alcohol consumption.

For many Canadians, the holidays can be a time when people consume more alcoholic beverages than they usually would. When the New Year rolls around, a common resolution is to cut back on spending — and new studies suggest the challenge is worth it.

“They are now finding that 100,000 new cases of cancer worldwide last year were in people who drank lightly to moderately,” said Sandra Gentleman, registered dietitian at BC Cancer. “Evidence suggests that light drinkers also have an increased risk of cancer.”

In 2020, one in seven new cancers was caused by light to moderate alcohol consumption, ranging from liver cancers to various hormone-related cancers.

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped, Gentleman said, as many people have started drinking more while spending more time at home.

“A lot of people are isolated and use alcohol to heal themselves and feel good. It may not have been their habits before the pandemic.

Constant drinking can impact people more than they realize and comes with many common misconceptions. Many people use alcohol as a sleep aid when in fact it is not, which impacts your sleep cycle.

“Your ambitions dwindle and you start to overeat and might overeat in the evening.”

There are many benefits to your overall health when you drink less alcohol, Gentleman said, including that “you’ll have more energy throughout the day and it’s definitely better for weight management.”

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