New Drinking Guidelines

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A culture notorious for their alcohol consumption is attempting to crack down on their drinking…and you should, too. According to a new recommendation by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in the U.K., everyone should have at least two alcohol-free days a week. That means, zero alcohol–not even a glass of wine with dinner. In the ’80s, they recommended that men drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week, while women drink no more than 14 units. In 1995, they changed that to no more than three to four units per day for men and two to three units per day for women. (What is a unit of alcohol?) Now, amidst concerns that the old guidelines encouraged people to drink every day as long as their consumption was spread out, the committee has changed their recommendation to include two solid days per week without any alcohol, particularly for heavy drinkers, so the body could recover. They are also looking to provide better information on what, exactly, entails one unit of alcohol, and how many units common drinks contain. Andrew Miller, committee chairman, explained, “Alcohol guidelines are a crucial tool for government in its effort to combat excessive and problematic drinking. It is vital that they are up-to date and that people know how to use them.” He continued, “Unfortunately, public understanding of how to use the guidelines and what an alcohol unit looks like is poor, although improving.”

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