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27 July 2020 — Safety and Health

Considerations on the impact of wine consumption on diet and health

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On Friday 12th June 2020 was virtually held the CONUSA (Consumption, Nutrition and Health) meeting chaired by Rena Kosti in which Ursula Fradera, Scientific coordinator of the Wine Information Council & Deutsche Weinkademie in Germany, presented a thorough study on the impact of wine consumption on diet and health.

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Based on The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), a comprehensive worldwide observational epidemiological study which describes mortality and morbidity from major diseases, injuries and risk factors to health, the expert from Wine Information Council made a presentation on the importance to critical analyse scientific publications and the importance to put the findings into perspective and context.

When analysing alcohol consumption, it is important to put the results in the context of diet and lifestyle. We don't drink alcohol strictly speaking, but we drink beer, wine, spirits, and we don't just drink but we eat also. There are other factors that affect our health. In a word, we need to look at the context and not just the consumption of alcohol.

It is indeed important to consider lifestyle factors. For example, whether you drink moderately or occasionally is important; whether you drink with or without meals, the type of drink, diet, smoking and physical activity, as well as socio-economic status must be taken into account when considering alcohol consumption.

During the expert meeting, the importance of a critical analysis of scientific publications was widely discussed. The experts will begin to prepare a document on the evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of different epidemiological models and their relevant limitations for the interpretation of their results.

The expert group will also launch a new axis of work to determine whether there is a difference between the effect of alcohol, and of wine in particular, on consumption if it is studied in isolation or as part of a diet. 

This is an important part of the research that needs to be developed. There appear to be advantages to considering food patterns rather than individual nutrients or foods in isolation. Foods are not consumed separately and their health effects are additive or even synergistic.

For any further information you can contact Barbara Iasiello Head of Unit « Safety & Health » sanco@oiv.int 

It is indeed important to consider lifestyle factors