AlcoholScreening.org provides a free computer-based alcohol screening service financially supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 1
This assessment program has been featured on the Dateline NBC and CNN Presents television programs and thousands of people have taken what is described as “a scientifically sound, free assessment of the health consequences of their own drinking.” 2
Those who take thge screening and report drinking in moderation are told that their “results do not suggest that alcohol is harming your health.” This is immediately followed by a list of stern alcohol warnings. 3
Participants are directed to another page to “learn more about the effects of alcohol on health” where they are given the following choice of materials:
Buried in one of these pages is the statement that “several studies” have reported moderate drinkers are less likely to develop heart disease than are others. 5 The hundreds of studies around the world since as far back as the early 1900s are clearly more than “several studies.” Nor is there any mention of the significant fact that heart disease is the biggest cause of death in the United States, larger than the five next leading causes of death combined. Thus, there is a clear effort to minimize information on the benefits associated with drinking in moderation.
There’s no mention of the fact that moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than astainers, but there’s plenty to be found on the negative effects of excessive drinking. It’s understandable why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest temperance foundation in the world, would fund such a screening operation.
The screening may not cost visitors any money, but it may cost them something much more valuable. If moderate drinkers are scared into abstaining by the screening operation, it could reduce both their health and longevity. That’s too high a price for anyone to pay.