US guidelines advise moderate drinking is healthy11th January, 2016 by Melita Kiely
New US dietary guidelines have reaffirmed that moderate drinking can be part of a healthy lifestyle and “help individuals achieve healthy eating patterns”.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans stressed that adults who wish to drink alcohol should do so in moderation, defining this as up to one drink a day for women and up to two for men.
A standard drink – now also referred to as “drink-equivalent” – is defined in the guidelines as 1.5oz (45ml) of 40% proof spirits, 5oz (50ml) of wine at 12% abv, and a “regular” beer at 5% abv.
The guidelines highlight that each of these measurements contains 14g (0.6oz) of pure alcohol.
“Moderate and responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults can be part of a healthy lifestyle and diet choice,” said Dr. Sam Zakhari, Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus) vice president of science and former division director of the National Institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
“As with all things, moderation is the key, and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines also make this clear.
“In keeping with the longstanding dietary science, the guidelines reaffirm that a standard drink of beer, wine and distilled spirits each contains the same amount of alcohol.”
The Dietary Guidelines are the basis for federal nutritional policy in the US by law.
Last week, tough new alcohol guidelines were published in the UK cutting the recommended daily limit for men from 21 units a week to 14 – the same as women.
The new UK guidelines also warned there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.