Men should restrict alcohol consumption to one drink each day, a group recommending new U.S. dietary guidelines says.
That would be stricter than current guidance, which limits men to two drinks daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under the proposed change, men would be urged to stick to the same one-drink cap recommended for women.
“The fact that most existing evidence indicates increased risk of all-cause mortality among men drinking 2 drinks per day compared to 1 drink per day, and the possibility that no protection exists for low volume drinking on (cardiovascular disease), changing recommended limits to 1 drink daily for men is justified and should be strongly considered,” the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report said.
The proposal is among the suggestions under consideration for official U.S. dietary guidelines, which the government says are designed to help people make nutrition decisions.
Several of the recommendations, which the committee compiled into its July report, address drinking in moderation.
“Do not begin to drink alcohol or purposefully continue to drink because you think it will make you healthier,” the report said in one of its suggestions.
Another recommendation urges “drinking less is generally better for health than drinking more.”
In the United States, one drink is considered a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, according to the CDC.
Health officials last week said a public comment period about the advisory committee’s report had ended. The document is expected to help the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services develop 2020-2025 dietary guidelines by the end of the year, the government said.
The report comes as the CDC this month revealed about 5% of adults were heavy drinkers. That means they “consume an average of more than 14 alcoholic drinks per week for men or more than 7 drinks per week for women,” according to a survey conducted in 2018.
Increased alcohol use has been recorded during the coronavirus pandemic. Researchers have said free time, stress and limited access to treatment could be behind the trend, McClatchy News reported.
But drinking more than recommended can come with risks, health officials warn.
“Heavy drinking is associated with an increased risk of alcohol use disorders, suicide, interpersonal violence, traffic injuries, liver disease, certain cancers and infectious diseases, and adverse birth outcomes in pregnant women,” according to the CDC.