Depressing New Research Finds There May Be No 'Safe' Level of Alcohol Use

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iStock

If there was ever going to be a good time to ignore science, this might be it. A massive new study published in The Lancet has concluded that there is no safe or recommended level for alcohol consumption.

The Bill and Melinda Gates-funded Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle looked at data involving 28 million people in 115 countries from 1990 to 2016. Unlike some previous studies, researchers examined self-reported data about alcohol consumption as well as alcohol sales information to determine the prevalence of imbibing among populations. Among other conclusions, researchers found that drinking one alcoholic drink a day increases the risk of developing an alcohol-related health problem by 0.5 percent within a year compared to not drinking at all. The study defined alcohol-related conditions to involve everything from cancer and tuberculosis to traffic accidents or falls.

That may not sound like much, but according to Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College and one of the authors of the paper, it can be extrapolated into a sizable health problem. "One drink a day does represent a small increased risk,” she told the BBC, “but adjust that to the UK population as a whole, and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day."

With two drinks a day, the chance of experiencing health problems increased to 7 percent compared to non-drinkers. If you’re at five drinks per day, the risk rose to 37 percent.

The report contradicts longstanding beliefs about alcohol use, namely that moderate intake could ward off heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and other ailments. Researchers concluded that the potential risks of drinking offset the potential health benefits.

It could be argued there is no completely risk-free level of driving, walking, or living, either. Researchers who were not involved in the study have observed that its conclusions represent only a modest increase in risk relative to both benefits and personal enjoyment of alcohol consumption.

[h/t BBC]

This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.