The U.S. might be on the brink of adopting more stringent alcohol consumption guidelines, following in the footsteps of Canada, according to statements made by Dr. George Koob, the Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Dr. Koob’s remarks to TheDailyMail.com indicate that the U.S. could consider adopting a guideline similar to Canada’s recommendation of limiting alcohol intake to two drinks per week.
While the U.S. guidelines are currently under review and not expected to be updated until 2025, Dr. Koob’s comments suggest that changes could be heading in a direction similar to Canada’s recommendations. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction previously advised its citizens to restrict alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per week, regardless of gender. In contrast, the CDC’s current guidelines for the U.S. suggest that men should limit themselves to two drinks per day, and women to one.
However, Koob emphasized that the perceived benefits of alcohol consumption might be more closely tied to a person’s overall diet rather than the alcohol itself.
“Most of the benefits people attribute to alcohol, we feel they really have more to do with what someone’s eating rather than what they’re drinking,” he said. “So it really has to do with the Mediterranean diet, socio-economic status, that makes you able to afford that kind of diet and make your own fresh food and so forth.”
The possibility of stricter guidelines has garnered mixed reactions. Amanda Berger, Ph.D., the Vice President of Science and Health at the Distilled Spirits Council, expressed concern over the potential changes, labeling them “extremely alarming and inappropriate.”
Berger raised questions about the scientific basis for such changes and suggested that Dr. Koob’s comments pre-emptively set a new precedent without the proper scientific review that’s integral to dietary guideline updates.
Recent data indicates that alcohol consumption remains significant in the U.S., with an NIAAA study from April revealing that the average American consumed 2.51 gallons of ethanol, the alcohol present in beer and wine, in 2021, a statistic approaching levels seen during the Civil War era.
Credits: Fox News
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