- The U.S. is considering revising its alcohol consumption guidelines to recommend a limit of two drinks per week, moving closer to Canada’s strict guidelines.
- NIAAA Director George Koob believes there are no physical health benefits from alcohol, suggesting diet plays a more significant role in perceived benefits.
- Critics argue the move is premature and indicative of overreach, questioning its necessity without comprehensive scientific review.
In a move that’s ruffling feathers, the U.S. might soon advise its citizens to follow Canada’s stricter alcohol consumption guidelines.
The current U.S. guidelines might be headed for a significant overhaul, and not everyone is happy about it.
A Potential Change in Direction: Currently, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends that “men drink no more than two drinks per day and that women stick to just one drink per day.”
However, George Koob, the director of NIAAA, told the Daily Mail that the U.S. could change its guidelines to mirror Canada’s recommendation of just “two drinks per week.”
Koob, shedding light on the potential switch, said, “If there’s health benefits, I think people will start to re-evaluate where we’re at.” He firmly believes there are “no benefits” to physical health from drinking alcohol.
In explaining the potential direction of the guidelines, Koob noted, “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.”
However, he did concede that alcohol can act as a “social lubricant.”
Pushback and Criticism: The possible changes haven’t been without backlash.
Representative Troy Nehls (R., Texas) had strong words about the move, asserting, “This is who the Democrats are. They want to control every aspect of your life.”
He scoffed at the proposed limit, saying, “Two beers a week? What a joke.”
Nehls didn’t miss the chance to recall history, pointing out that “JFK snagged 1,200 Cuban cigars just hours before banning all Cuban products from the United States.”
Amanda Berger from the Distilled Spirits Council voiced her concerns too.
She claimed Koob is undermining the “entire Dietary Guidelines process” by recommending a “drastic change to the federal recommendations on alcohol before the review of alcohol research has even begun.”
Berger emphasized the longstanding guidance, stating, “For more than 30 years, the federal guidance on alcohol consumption has been no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men for those who choose to drink.”
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