From the BBC, where if the press release mentions 'alcohol', it's a news story, no matter how implausible the findings or how shaky the research.
A small number of children as young as 12 claimed they drank the equivalent of 19 glasses of wine a week when questioned for a health survey.
Research by the independent Schools Health Education Unit suggested that 4% of those questioned aged 12 or 13 claimed they drank 28 units or more.
It's strange that no one involved in this study, let alone the Beeb, considered the possibility that 4% of 12 and 13 year olds might amuse themselves by making stuff up when confronted with earnest surveys about their drinking habits. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed the figure was so low. What's the matter with kids today?
Elsewhere, an epidemiological study has arrived with some mildly heroic conclusions:
Heavy alcohol consumption linked to lung cancer
Smokers are more likely to be heavy drinkers. That much is true. I humbly suggest, therefore, that this study failed to control adequately for smoking or misclassified some smokers as nonsmokers. I cannot prove this, but the other findings suggest that this was not the best conducted study ever produced...
Although researchers found several factors that increased lung cancer risk, other factors were found to be related to reduced risk of the disease. Dr. Siu and team found an inverse relationship between BMI and lung cancer risk, where higher BMI levels were associated with a lower risk for lung cancer. A similar relationship was seen in those who graduated from college.
Er, yeah. Nonsmokers are more likely to be overweight and obese than smokers, therefore there would be an indirect association between low BMI and lung cancer. As for the 'link' with high school graduation, that only demonstrates that associations can be found anywhere if you do not control for confounding factors. I would be interested to see the study in full (so far it's only been presented at a public health conference - surprise, surprise), but in the meantime I think it's safer to call bullshit on this one rather than rip up the textbooks.
Meanwhile, as Scotland brings its illegal pricing scheme before parliament, the suicidal pub industry cannot see beyond its short-term self-interest.
Greene King brewery boss backs minimum alcohol pricing
Plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol would "go to the very heart" of Scotland's drink problems, a brewery boss has claimed.
This is the same Greene King that was "optimistic about the smoking ban" in July 2007 before the reality of the smoking ban helped its shares to collapse by 60%. Maybe they were right to be optimistic, compared to some other pub chains, a post-ban plummet of 60% isn't that bad.
That experience hasn't dented their faith in alleged public health policies and they see minimum pricing as a way to lure back the customers that the smoking ban drove away. Like the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, who made the jaw-dropping demand that alcohol units be priced at £1.00, they think that if they help the temperance lobby batter the off license trade, the beast will kill them last. The short-sightedness of these cretins beggars belief.
Greene King runs 2,000 pubs and makes Ruddles, IPA and Old Speckled Hen. Bear that in mind next time you're out and about.