Could the US change alcohol guidelines to two drinks per week?

  • Current U.S. guidelines are two drinks daily for men and one for women
  • Canada's new guidance restricts alcohol intake to two drinks per week
  • The change is based on new research about the health risks of alcohol

(NewsNation) — The U.S. could potentially change alcohol consumption guidelines to a new, stricter limit according to new reporting.

The Daily Mail reported that Dr. George Koob, head of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told the news outlet that the U.S. might follow Canada’s guidelines and lower alcohol guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently suggests men consume two drinks or less per day, while women should limit their drinking to one drink or less daily. Were the U.S. to follow Canada’s lead, that recommendation would drop to one of two drinks per week.

Canada changed its guidance at the start of 2023, recommending people cut alcohol out entirely or limit themselves to two drinks per week. Prior guidance had suggested women limit themselves to 10 drinks per week and men to 15 drinks.

Opponents of the shift said the guidelines would create unnecessary stress for people who would suddenly be moved from moderate drinkers to a high-risk category and said the restrictive limits ignored the benefits of pleasure and stress relief.

Officials in Canada said the change was the result of new research findings and is meant to provide accurate guidance to Canadians making decisions about healthy alcohol consumption.

New research has linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases, some of which had not previously been connected to alcohol use. The World Heart Federation has also been working to debunk the idea that alcohol has heart health benefits, while the World Health Organization says there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.


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