People seem to love reading studies about the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption. In a review published this month, In a review published in Addiction this month features a critical look at these associations and concluded, “The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol is undoubtedly stronger than the evidence for beneficial effects.” The confounding issue: people who drink moderately may simply have healthier lifestyles in general.

That was the response of several doctors and alcohol researchers to an editorial based on a critical analysis of recent studies in the journal Addiction. “People have several motives for drinking alcohol, but most evidence today indicates that health is not a valid argument,” author Hans Olav Fekjaer, a psychiatrist in Oslo, Norway, told Reuters Health by email.

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