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New US dietary guidelines may cut daily wine limit

Men in the US may be told to drink less wine if proposals for new dietary guidelines are adopted, moving the boundary for what constitutes moderation.

An expert panel said the daily alcohol limit for men should be halved as part of an update to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The limit for men should be cut from two drinks to one, on days when alcohol is consumed, said the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The guideline for women is already one drink.

In the current guidelines, one drink is equivalent to five US fluid ounces of wine, or around 150ml, at 12% abv.

The California-based Wine Institute criticised the lack of evidence cited by the panel for the proposed change in guidance. It said the Committee only found one report that examined the difference between one and two drinks in men.

‘This is far from the preponderance of evidence that would be needed to reverse decades of US guidance that defines an adult man having two glasses of wine at a family meal as drinking in moderation,’ said the Institute.

It called on wine lovers to make their voice heard in the public consultation period, which closes on 13 August.

The Dietary Guidelines Committee said in its report, ‘Although alcohol can be consumed at low levels with relatively low risk, for those who choose to consume alcohol, evidence points to a general rule that drinking less is better for health than drinking more.’

It said there was still a need to reduce alcohol consumption, which it said accounts for approximately 100,000 deaths annually in the US.

It said 88,000 deaths per year were due to ‘excessive drinking’, and it said the mortality rate for men in such instances was double that for women.

It also noted that deaths from chronic liver disease had risen between 2006 and 2016.

See also:

The science of two alcohol-free days per week (from the archive)

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