, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Can someone please explain to me how a figure that shows that at one drink per day you have a relative risk of 1 can lead to the conclusion that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption?
While I'm at it, can we all agree that having a chart that spends two thirds of its range above FIVE DRINKS PER DAY tells us more about alcoholism than light or moderate drinking?
And which of these sounds scarier? Drinking one alcoholic drink a day...

1) increases the risk of developing one of 23 alcohol-related health problems by 0.5%

or

2) increases the absolute risk by 4 in 100,000 people a year.

Which do you think articles run with?
For those of you keeping track at home, that means that for drinking one alcoholic drink a day, the number needed to harm is 25,000 people
At five alcoholic drinks per day, WHICH NO ONE THINKS IS A GOOD IDEA, the number needed to harm each year is 296.
I'm not saying that alcohol is good for you. I'm not! But using these data to scare people about light, or even moderate, drinking seems a real stretch. I stand by my recommendations here for reading news like this: nytimes.com/2017/11/10/ups…
If you enjoyed this thread, you should go read my more nuanced column @nytimes @UpshotNYT nytimes.com/2018/08/28/ups…
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