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The Misnomer About Drinking Guidelines That May Surprise You

The Misnomer About Drinking Guidelines That May Surprise You

A new study of moderate drinking guidelines suggest they may be too loose. Alcohol consumption was found to have no overall health benefits when done in ‘moderation,’ and questions U.S. guidelines which say that men can safely drink twice as much as women. Low-risk drinking is around seven beers a week for men and women, but this guideline may be misleading. Find out why the international community is looking to revise these guidelines in support of those who struggle with alcohol consumption.

Data Talks

Multiple studies of drinking patterns and health outcomes were aggregated from existing data of around 600,000 people in 19 high-income countries. The data did not show significant differences between men and women in the amount of alcohol consumed without a change in life expectancy. This contradicts U.S. government guidelines which define moderate ‘low-risk’ drinking as two drinks a day for men and one drink for women with a limit of 14 per week for men and seven for women. Two years ago, the United Kingdom revised moderate-drinking guidelines, reducing the limits for men to the same level as those for women. Lowering guidelines for men should be more in line with female guidelines, was the suggested outcome of the data research.

Impact of Drinking

For years now, research has been suggesting that moderate drinking may be good for you, but the data did not suggest an overall health benefit. Moderate drinking did not lower risk of nonfatal heart attacks. The common explanation is that alcohol can boost high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol, which can be protective against arterial blockages. Even in moderation, alcohol consumption can be associated with:

  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Stroke
  • Fatal hypertensive disease
  • Heart failure

The bad may not offset any good benefits to be had from ‘drinking in moderation.’

What it Suggests

The impact of alcoholism on individual lives, families, and communities is staggering. The issue of moderate drinking and health effects is important because the majority of people who drink may do so ‘in moderation,’ thinking it can have some benefit or not do any harm. What the study suggests is that no amount is truly a ‘safe amount,’ it depends on a case-by-case basis to know whether you are drinking too much for your own good. Sometimes even then it is hard to know if your drinking three beers a week or three beers a day is harmful to your health, if you are surrounded by others who do the same. Normalizing drinking behavior can be one way to keep a person from realizing the reality of addiction. No amount of alcohol consumption is safe if it means a person is getting harmed, and harming others in the process, as well. This study can help bring better public health awareness campaigns focused on the risks and dangers of even low-risk to moderate drinking, not just excessive consumption of alcohol.

If you are struggling with a drinking problem or wonder if you are drinking too much, call us. We will help you focus on recovery with our programs designed to target the reasons why you struggle with addiction and provide support for recovery. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401