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2 Drinks a Day Is OK? Not Anymore, Says Council

Australian health council changes alcohol guidelines for first time since 2009
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2019 10:55 AM CST

(Newser) – If you've been feeling pretty good about your alcohol consumption, making sure to never go over the recommended maximum of two drinks per day, we have bad news: You have to start keeping it to 1.4 drinks a day, at least according to one group of experts. Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council has updated its alcohol guidelines for the first time in a decade, and it now says that to reduce health risks related to alcohol, adults should limit themselves to 10 "standard" alcoholic drinks per week, which comes out to about 1.4 per day. (The previous recommendation was a maximum of 14 per week.) But, as the Guardian notes, if you're not drinking every single day of the week, the new guideline for the maximum number of drinks in one day is four.

The good news is that the council's three years of research on the matter show that limiting your weekly beverages to no more than 10 reduces your lifetime risk of dying from an injury or illness related to alcohol consumption to less than 1 in 100. The new guidelines come after the council found strengthened links between alcohol consumption and cancer, Australia's ABC News reports. It also found less strength for the "alcohol is good for you" argument for drinking, say, a glass or two of red wine a day. The guidelines, of course, also recommend pregnant women (or women planning to get pregnant) and children under the age of 18 not drink at all. The Conversation has a link to "standard" drink amounts calculated via glass size. Meanwhile, US dietary guidelines still define moderate alcohol consumption as no more than one drink per day for women, two for men. (Read more alcohol is bad for you stories.)

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