Drinking, Breast Cancer, Heart Disease, and Donations

Another story I’m taking from USA Today.  It was interesting.  First, they talked in one article about a few alcohol companies that are promoting “pink drinks” as ways to support raising money for breast cancer.  The companies didn’t appear to be linking sales to donations, but since drinking increases the risk of breast cancer, it raised an interesting question.  Is that okay?

Would you buy chewing tobacco if they gave 10% of the purchase to fighting mouth cancer?  Or would you buy more cigarettes from a company that had a lung cancer logo on the outside of the package and an advertising campaign around finding a cure for lung cancer?  Maybe that’s not apples to apples.  Would you buy more McDonalds (over Burger King) if they were more active in fighting childhood obesity?

Now, the breast cancer issue gets more interesting when they point out the health challenge of thinking about two sets of data…

  1. Drinking increases the risk of breast cancer
  2. Drinking reduces the risk of coronary heart disease

I think this is an interesting microcosm of what consumers face everyday.  Confusing information from multiple sources leading them to not know what to do.  Who do I trust?  What action do I take?  How do I weigh the tradeoffs?  (Read the USA Today article for more or look at the blogger they feature at www.breastcancersisterhood.com.)

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