The Moderation Myth: Why Avoidance May Be Better Than Moderation for Alcohol and Sugar


The mantra “everything in moderation” is often touted as the key to a balanced lifestyle. However, when it comes to substances like alcohol and sugar, is moderation truly the best approach? In this article, we’ll delve into the potential pitfalls of preaching moderation, particularly when corporate interests are at play, and explore why avoidance may sometimes be the better choice for our health.

The Dark Side of Moderation:

While moderation may work for some, it’s important to remember that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, the concept of moderation can be dangerous when it comes to substances that are inherently harmful or addictive. This is especially true when industry-funded studies and articles paint a rosy picture of consuming alcohol and sugar in moderate amounts.

For instance, a report by The Hill highlights how alcohol companies have funded research aimed at promoting the potential health benefits of moderate drinking. Similarly, an article published by US News & World Report discussing sugar intake for diabetics has faced criticism for its ties to the sugar industry. These instances raise questions about the credibility and motivation behind such articles preaching moderation.

Alcohol and Sugar: Avoidance Over Moderation?

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, even moderate alcohol consumption may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder. Furthermore, a systematic review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption when it comes to overall health.

As for sugar, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that the sugar industry has a long history of influencing nutrition research. This manipulation has led to public confusion about the true health risks associated with sugar consumption. Excessive sugar intake is linked to a wide range of health issues, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Given the potential health risks associated with both alcohol and sugar, it’s worth considering whether avoidance is a more prudent approach than moderation.

Corporate Influence: A Cause for Concern

When industries with vested interests in the sale of potentially harmful products fund research and articles promoting their consumption, it’s crucial to be cautious about the information we consume. The Union of Concerned Scientists highlights the tactics used by the sugar industry to mislead consumers and downplay the risks associated with sugar consumption.

The Bottom Line:

While moderation may work for some aspects of our diet and lifestyle, it’s important to recognize that it may not be the best approach when it comes to potentially harmful substances like alcohol and sugar. In these cases, avoidance may be the wiser choice for our health.

Moreover, it’s essential to be aware of corporate influence in the realm of health research and advice. Always consider the source of the information you’re consuming and be prepared to question the motives behind articles and studies advocating for moderation, especially when the industries profiting from these products are involved.


When it comes to alcohol and sugar, moderation may not be the golden ticket to a healthy life. Instead, consider the benefits of avoidance and be mindful of the potential influence of corporate interests in the information you consume. By staying informed and making conscious choices, you can protect your health and well-being

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