Americans could be urged by officials to drink no more than two beers a week as part of strict new alcohol guidelines.
Biden’s health czar told DailyMail.com the USDA could revise its alcohol advice to match Canada’s, where people are advised to have just two drinks per week.
Dr George Koob — who admits enjoying a couple of glasses of Chardonnay a week — said he was watching Canada’s ‘big experiment’ with interest.
‘If there’s health benefits, I think people will start to re-evaluate where we’re at [in the US],’ he told DailyMail.com.
Current US recommendations say women can have up to one bottle of beer, small glass of wine or shot of spirit a day while men can have two.
But those guidelines are up for review in 2025.
Dr George Koob, who directs the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said the US could lower its alcohol recommendations to match those in Canada
Per the US guidelines, a drink is defined as containing 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol, equivalent to one beer, one glass of wine at 12 percent alcohol or one shot.
Asked in what direction the guidelines could change, Dr George Koob, the director for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), said: ‘I mean, they’re not going to go up, I’m pretty sure.
‘So, if [alcohol consumption guidelines] go in any direction, it would be toward Canada.’
The guidelines are currently under review, although the updated versions may not be published until the end of 2025.
The debate about whether alcohol is good in low amounts has been around for decades, but increasingly studies show that even a small amount can harm your health.
A major study from this June warned that drinking any amount of alcohol raised the risk of someone suffering 60 diseases, including 33 that had never been linked to booze before.
Liver cirrhosis — scarring caused by continuous, long-term liver damage — strokes and cancer are already well-established risks of excess boozing.
But the Oxford University-led study, which analyzed data from half a million men living in China, also drew links to other conditions like gout and cataracts.
Dr Koob told DailyMail.com that there were ‘no benefits’ to drinking alcohol in terms of physical health.
He said: ‘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.
‘So it really has to do with the Mediterranean diet, socio-economic status, that makes you able to afford that kind of diet and make your own fresh food and so forth.
‘With this in mind, most of the benefits kind of disappear on the health side.’
But he did give ground to social benefits, describing alcohol as a ‘social lubricant’.
Dr Koob said he consumes around two glasses of white wine per week, usually a ‘buttery Californian Chardonnay’.
College girls are more likely to binge drink than boys for the first time in American history, Biden’s alcohol czar revealed earlier this year
Canadian health chiefs admitted their new rules may be a ‘bit shocking’ when they were announced earlier this year.
The review process for Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025 to 2030 has already begun — although the final version may not be published until the end of 2025.
America has been recommending a safe limit of up to two drinks per day for adult men and one for women since the 1990s.
In the past, studies suggested there may be some benefits to drinking — with resveratrol in red wine linked to a reduced risk of cancer and improved heart health.
In more recent years, the research has gone the other way, warning even consuming a small amount of alcohol is dangerous for health.
A report released in 2020 from a federal committee of experts warned that drinking raised the risk of cancer, saying limits should be slashed to just one beverage a day.
And in 2021 a report from the American Cancer Society warned alcohol was behind as many as one in 20 cancer cases in the US — or 25,000 annually.
It found alcohol raised the risk of both rarer cancers, like those of the throat, and more common ones such as breast cancer — the most common in women.
More recent research involving 370,000 people warned that drinking more led to a 1.4-fold rise in someone’s risk of heart disease.
Top authorities including the World Health Organization have seized on the studies to warn that drinking even a small amount puts someone’s health in danger.
It was this growing body of evidence — and their own analysis of 6,000 studies — that convinced Canadian health chiefs to overturn their alcohol guidelines in favor of up to two drinks per week earlier this year.
Previously, they had suggested women could have up to ten drinks per week while men could have 15 — similar to the limits set in the US.
The move quickly came in for criticism from some quarters, however, who accused authorities of ‘ignoring’ the benefits of drinking — including how it can help in social situations and with combatting loneliness.
Dr Dan Malleck, a health sciences expert at Brock University in Canada, said: ‘Alcohol infuses many lives in many positive ways.
‘We celebrate accomplishments, mark occasions, bring wine to parties, meeting with friends, commiserate, relax, blow off steam… these are important activities, and part of the texture and tone of many lives.’
Experts have previously argued that studies into the risks of alcohol are flawed because they fail to examine these social benefits.
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