Since I spend so much time on the blog defending the right to eat, drink, and smoke things that may or may not be bad for you, it’s only fair that I occassionally link to something skeptical about an indulgent lifestyle. We’ve all read that moderate alcohol consumption could help prevent heart disease. As noted by Marginal Revolution and EconLog, however, a new meta-study suggests that studies finding this result suffered from a common flaw: long-time abstainers were grouped in with former heavy drinkers as “non-drinkers,” then compared with people who drink moderately and regularly. Correcting for this sampling bias, say researchers at UCSF, makes the supposed health benefits of drinking disappear. Be sure to read the whole article for the details.