(WJW) — Some hard news for those who like to imbibe in adult beverages from time to time — the United States may soon change its alcohol guidelines.
Current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, which have been in place since the 1990s, stipulate that men should stick to no more than two alcoholic beverages a day, while women should cut themselves off after one drink.
But Dr. George Koob, alcohol czar for President Joe Biden, recently told the Daily Mail the U.S. is looking at Canada’s recent alcohol consumption guideline changes, which now recommend people limit themselves to two alcoholic drinks in a week’s time (down from the previous 15 weekly drinks for men and 10 for women) in order to reduce health risks associated with drinking.
Koob, also the director for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), made clear that alcohol does not offer benefits to one’s health and that he doesn’t see consumption recommendation numbers ever going up.
“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,” Koob told the Daily Mail, pointing to things like healthy diet and socio-economic status affecting health outcomes.
This comes as a study out of the University of Michigan shows binge drinking is on the rise across the country in people 35 to 50.
The Monitoring the Future panel study looks at substance use behaviors, and 2022 reportedly saw “the highest prevalence of binge drinking ever recorded” — at 29% — for that age group since the study began in the 1970s. Meanwhile, those 19-30 are less likely to drink and more likely to use marijuana and vaping products.
Alcohol can lead to higher risks for heart disease and certain kinds of cancers in those who drink more than moderately, according to the USDA.
The U.S. alcohol recommendations are not up for review until 2025. Read the full Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 right here.
**If you believe you have a substance abuse problem, know you are not alone. The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline can be reached at 1-800-662-4357.**