Labor Day Excuses

Need Evidence Why It's Good to Be Lazy? You’ve Come to the Right Place!

It's almost Labor Day, time to kick up your heels, raise a glass and celebrate summer's last hurrah — as long as you have enough scientific evidence to show why it's important to eat, drink and make whoopee.

In carb-conscious, smoke-free America, you need to explain away even the smallest vice. Luckily, new research comes out nearly every week, often with contrary information, justifying almost any indulgence.

Sure, coffee can make you irritable. But cheer up, java junkies. Drinking up to six cups a day can lower the risk of diabetes by 54 percent if you're male and 30 percent if you're female, according to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

This isn't a reason to start drinking more coffee, says study author Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Nevertheless, I embrace any scientific study that even vaguely embraces my lifestyle. This Labor Day, if you need to explain why you're eating pizza, drinking beer, watching sports on TV, obsessing over your favorite celebrities or getting a little frisky with your beloved, here is research to justify nearly any indulgence:

Useful Excuses

1. … To Drink Beer and Wine Let's raise a glass and toast the nutritionists at University College London who found that drinking wine and beer actually improves your thought process.

Of 6,000 civil servants studied, those who drank the equivalent of one glass of wine a week did better in a range of cognitive tests than teetotalers, according to the study published earlier this month.

The people who downed the equivalent of half a bottle of wine or two pints of beer a day scored highest of all. The reason: A moderate amount of alcohol is thought to increase blood flow to the brain.

Still, "I would not encourage anybody to start drinking if they do not already do so," says nutrition scientist Brigid McKevith. "People should also realize that they cannot 'save up' for one binge-drinking session."