Why consumers should limit alcohol intake to a drink per day, says Research

*Alcohol consumption recommendations should be same for men, women, say experts

*Researchers observed link between drinking habits and causes of death

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As a consumer, whether you are a man or woman, if you decide to have an alcoholic drink, limiting yourself to a drink per day is best, a fresh report alcohol intake advises.

This is the new advice experts are recommending for the United States (US) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are scheduled to be updated later this year for the first time in five years, according to AP.

Report states that the guidelines now say men should limit themselves to two drinks a day, and that women should limit themselves to one. That advice has been in place since 1990.

In a report released Wednesday, July 15, 2020, a committee of experts noted there is no adequate evidence to support different alcohol recommendations for men and women, and that research supports tightening the limit for men.

US health agencies that issue dietary guidelines are not required to adopt the committee’s recommendations.

Dr. Timothy Naimi, an alcohol researcher at Boston University and one of the experts on the committee convened by the Federal officials, “as a nation, our collective health would be better if people generally drank less.”

ConsumerConnect reports that earlier in January 2020, an earlier study had explained that Americans were dying from drinking too much.

The proposed advice should not be interpreted to mean that not having a drink on Thursday means you can have two on Friday, Naimi said.

A drink is the equivalent of about one 12-ounce can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or a shot of liquor.

The advice is based on links that researchers observed between drinking habits and all causes of death, including heart disease, cancer and car accidents, rather than a specific physical harm that alcohol might have.

Such observational studies, common in food and nutrition science, do not establish a cause-and-effect relationship but they are often the best evidence available, so experts use them to give guidance.

With alcohol, Naimi further explained that two drinks a day were associated with an increased risk of death compared with one drink a day.

He said that the increase was modest, but notable enough for the committee to recommend updating the advice.

Whether the proposed new advice would influence behaviour isn’t clear.

The alcohol expert noted that many Americans already exceed the current advice on alcohol limits.

Still, he said most people could generally benefit from any reduction in alcohol, even if they are not within the advised limits.

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