The study found (unsurprisingly) that heavy drinking was associated with a greater likelihood of disease and death. They also noted that all-cause death in moderate drinkers was reduced when participants achieved recommended levels of physical activity, and death from cancer was almost completely nullified.
All good things, right?
Maybe, maybe not. Dr. Dara Huang, a Manhattan-based internist specializing in culinary medicine, points out, "This is an observational study that suggests that there may be an association between moderate-intensity exercise and lowering the risk of alcohol-related cancers, most commonly, liver cancer. Certainly, further studies would have to be done to see if this association shows causality."
In other words, just because there's a positive correlation between exercise and reduced risk of cancer in people who drink, doesn't mean that exercise specifically led to the reduced risk of cancer. There could be other unidentified factors or behaviors that played a part in the association. For instance, people who exercise may manage their stress levels more effectively or make more meals at home than those who don't exercise, both of which could reduce the likelihood of illness or death.