Study Says People Under 40 Shouldn't Drink Alcohol At All

A new study shares surprising recommendations for people under age 40. 

The study is essentially encouraging young people to put down that gorgeous summer cocktail or delicious beer right this minute. 

They shouldn't drink alcohol at all.

People under 40 suffer significant health risks from drinking, according to the research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

The research was published on Thursday in The Lancet, a British medical journal. 

The health risks associated with imbibing include auto accidents, injury and even murder, according to the study.

Also, those under age 40 receive no health benefits at all from drinking alcohol, the study found.

A young woman drinks a glass of wine — something that's now a no-no for people under age 40, according to a new study. (iStock)

People 40 or older may benefit from a limited consumption of alcohol — a glass of red wine occasionally, for example — as long as they have no underlying health risks.

The benefits of small amounts of alcohol include potentially reducing the risk of developing heart disease, ischemic stroke and/or diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic's website. (None of these outcomes are guaranteed with moderate drinking.)

"Our message is simple: Young people should not drink, but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts."

This new study, which comes from the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases project based at the University of Washington in Seattle, analyzed the drinking habits of people in 204 countries and territories. The number of people consuming harmful amounts of alcohol increased to 1.34 billion in 2020, it found.

Nearly 77% of these people were male — with almost 60% of the harmful consumption happening among individuals between 15 and 39 years old.

Fox News Digital reached out to Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou, senior author of the study and professor of health metrics sciences at University of Washington, and was directed by the IHME to the press release on its website.

"We do think it's important to communicate the latest evidence so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health," the new study said. (iStock)

The release says, in part: "Our message is simple: Young people should not drink, but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts."

"While it may not be realistic to think that young people will abstain from drinking," the statement continues, "we do think it's important to communicate the latest evidence so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health."

"Our message is simple: Young people should not drink, but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts."

The study examined the risk of alcohol consumption on 22 health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

For the purposes of the new study, one drink of alcohol was defined as 10 grams of pure alcohol — meaning a small 3.4-fluid ounce (100 milliliters) glass of red wine, a 12-fluid ounce (355 milliliters) standard can or bottle of beer (3.5% alcohol) or a one fluid ounce shot of spirits (30 milliliters) that is 40% alcohol by volume.


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