The researchers built a database of more than 1000 alcohol studies and data sources, as well as death and disability records from 195 countries and territories between 1990 and 2016. The goal was to estimate how alcohol affects the risk of 23 health problems. The number that jumped out, in the end, was zero.
“What has been underappreciated, what’s surprising, is that no amount of drinking is good for you,” said Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor of global health at the University of Washington and the senior author of the report.
“People should no longer think that a drink or two a day is good for you. What’s best is to not drink at all.”
The report found that 2.8 million people across the globe died in 2016 of alcohol-related causes, which is about the same proportionally as the 2 million who died in 1990. For people aged 15-49, alcohol is the leading risk factor for a negative health outcome.