Reports that show alcohol consumption in Iowa is increasing over time are concerning.
Iowans drink more than the average American.
According to reports in 2021, 22.8% of adults in Iowa were binge drinking, which was 5.2 percent above the U.S. average during that time. In 2022, the Iowa Department of Public Health claimed that alcohol consumption in the state remained above the national averageand even moderate to light consumption is dangerous due to its health and indirect consequences.
Have you ever had a few cold drinks with your friends and had a great time? Probably, which is understandable because social consumption has been linked an increase in positive emotions and social connection, and a decrease in negative emotions.
But what does drinking too much mean? Alcohol consumption guidelines suggest that men can drink two or fewer drinks a day, which means drinking alcohol beyond these guidelines is “drinking too much”.
The dangers come with overconsumption of alcohol, and many of them are health related. Studies show that drinkers, even light to moderate drinkers, are at risk for seven forms of cancer, in addition to liver and brain complications. Essentially, if alcohol isn’t affecting you negatively now, it could still do so gradually over weeks, months, or years.
Alcohol also has dangerous side effects for a person drinking and for those around them. An estimated 21% of women and 23% of men have been injured in some way a direct consequence of alcohol abuse. The ways people have been harm to themselves and others due to alcohol include cases of motor vehicle accidents, violence, harassment, emotional distress and financial hardship.
Considering that the overconsumption of alcohol leads to health problems and one in five American adultsAbout 53 million people, suffer from secondary alcohol consumption, it is clear why the fact that Iowa has above average alcohol consumption is concerning.
Either way, it can be said that some alcohol consumption is beneficial. This is not only evident in social consumption scenarios, but some reports show that moderate consumption also reduces the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. However, these benefits do nothing to decrease the risk of developing cancers or other diseases, or sustaining injuries from alcohol use.
Moreover, regarding the aforementioned health benefits of moderate consumption, a study refutes its proactive effects by claiming that the validity of it reduces the risk of developing certain diseases. has not been accurately tested. This means that, aside from making social gatherings more fun, drinking alcohol may have no benefit.
Drinking, especially in social settings, can be fun, but there are too many risks associated with alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that non-drinkers should not start drinking for any reason, hinting at its potential consequences.
Obviously, no one should drink too much. However, evidence supports the idea that even moderate to light drinking is risky. If possible, avoid drinking altogether, as no amount of good can justify the negative effects of alcohol.
The columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the editorial board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations with which the author may be involved.