Panel proposes a new guideline for men: just one drink per day

For several decades, government guidelines have recommended that men should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day. Now a panel of health experts is proposing a new guideline that would cut that limit in half.

The recommendation for women—one drink per day—would remain the same.

The new proposal comes from a panel that advises the federal government on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are released every five years by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The new guidelines will be released later this year.

Although evidence has suggested there may be benefits from moderate consumption of alcohol—such as lower rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and dementia—the panel suggested in a mid-July report that these benefits might not exist, instead emphasizing that even small amounts of alcohol have been linked with several types of cancer. But Eric Rimm, professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition—who headed the panel that created the 2010 guideline recommendations—said in an August 5, 2020 article in Wine Spectator that he thinks the current committee “got it wrong and was overly conservative about their advice for adults that drink moderately, can control their consumption and do not binge drink.”

Rimm said that the panel “ignored all research before 2010 and were very dismissive of observational studies of alcohol and chronic disease, even though this represents the only way to study alcohol and long-term health.”

Read the Wine Spectator article: U.S. Dietary Guidelines Panel Takes Aim at Moderate Wine Drinkers

Read a Wall Street Journal article: Men Urged to Limit Alcohol to One Drink a Day Amid New Concerns