The federal government might be taking a tougher stance on alcohol consumption. According to Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the United States could adopt a policy similar to Canada’s recently tightened guidelines for drinking alcohol.
Currently, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines suggest that men should not exceed two alcoholic beverages a day, and women one. Canada has recently adjusted its suggestion to limit consumption of alcohol to two drinks a week for both genders in an effort to reduce health risks associated with drinking.
When asked by the Daily Mail about these potential changes being made in the U.S., Koob suggested that if a new Dietary Guidelines for Americans is released, it would be unlikely to increase the amount of recommended alcohol consumption.
“So, if [alcohol consumption guidelines] go in any direction, it would be toward Canada,” Koob said during the interview. He also emphasized that drinking alcohol doesn’t offer much benefit to one’s health anymore. Rather, he argued, most of the benefits attributed to drinking have more to do with what someone is eating rather than what they’re drinking.
The news of the potential changes in alcohol guidelines comes as a study published by the University of Michigan showed an increase in binge drinking among those aged 35-50. The Monitoring the Future Panel Study has been tracking substance use behaviors since the 1970s and in 2022, it reported “the highest prevalence of binge drinking ever recorded” for this age group – at 29%.
Interestingly enough, younger people aged 19-30 are less likely to drink and more likely to use marijuana and vaping products instead.
When asked during a press briefing about Koob’s remarks on Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to make a comment. She simply said that she would “leave it to the experts”.
Timeline Uncertainty: Next Version of Dietary Guidelines for Americans Might Emerge by Late 2025, with Implications for Alcohol Recommendations
It is unclear when the next version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be available, but it could take until the end of 2025 for this to happen. Even if this policy is changed, there won’t be any legal repercussions for not adhering to the guidelines, as they are intended more as recommendations for a healthy lifestyle rather than strict rules.
Still, if this is an indication of things to come, those who enjoy having a drink now and then should take heed and reconsider their drinking habits in order to stay healthy.
It is important to remember that alcohol, like any other substance, can be abused and consumed irresponsibly. It is up to each individual to take responsibility for their own behavior and health – particularly when it comes to something as serious as drinking alcohol.
This potential shift in US alcohol policy could have a lasting impact on our health and wellbeing in the years to come – so let’s all do our part to stay informed and drink responsibly.
This article was written with the intention of providing information about an important health issue for US citizens, and should not be taken as medical advice or advice on how to consume alcohol safely. Please consult your physician if you have any questions regarding drinking alcohol.
Remember: moderation is key!
By understanding the risks and benefits associated with drinking alcohol, you can take steps to ensure that your consumption is both safe and enjoyable. Stay informed, stay healthy!