Today, the American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association, criticized the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, released today by the Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines state that while up to one standard drink per day for women (7 per week) and up to two drinks per day for men (14 per week) is “moderation,” eight drinks per week for women or 15 drinks per week is “excessive” and increases the risk of chronic disease.

Sarah Longwell, Managing Director of the American Beverage Institute, issued the following statement:

Recent versions of the Dietary Guidelines have advised Americans of the many health benefits of moderate drinking. In its scientific report, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Panel wrote, ‘moderate consumption of alcohol also are shown to be components of a beneficial dietary pattern in most studies.’ However, in the just-released 2015 guidelines, the Department of Health and Human Services failed to highlight the vast body of research showing health benefits associated with the moderate consumption of alcohol. Instead, these guidelines warn Americans that consuming just one additional drink per week over the ‘moderate’ drinking recommendations puts individuals at risk for health problems.

The guidelines’ line between moderate and excessive drinking is so small it’s virtually nonexistent—a woman who drinks a single glass of IPA beer or stronger wine per day is now considered an ‘excessive’ drinker. While alcohol is harmful when abused, most adults shouldn’t fear consuming a drink or two with dinner increases their risk of health problems. Instead, numerous studies suggest moderate drinking may lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

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In Depth on the Issue

Alcohol and Health

ABI supports moderate, responsible alcohol consumption consistent with one’s own medical needs. While there is a long  standing consensus that moderate alcohol consumption can lower the risk of mortality, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases, efforts to demonize all manners of alcohol consumption have endeavored to dim this “health…
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