Guidance outlining how much alcohol Canadians should drink


New guidance on drinking alcohol for Canadians was released today. When it comes to alcohol consumption and health, the whole idea is that less is more.

As of Tuesday, Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines from 2011 have been replaced, and new guidelines are shaking things up.

The change builds on decades of research showing that the health effects of alcohol are more pronounced than people thought.

“Canadians believe they are entitled to more information about alcohol than they currently have. Most Canadians are currently less literate about the risks from alcohol.” Substance Use Research.

Canada’s new guidance on alcohol and health recommends that people consider using less alcohol.

“We’re not trying to give people one level because we know it’s not possible for many people,” Naimi explained.

According to the new guidance, the risk is low for those who drink standard beverages twice or less per week. Drinking 3-6 times a week is moderate. Six or more standard drinks per week are increasingly expensive.

CancerCare Manitoba is starting to talk about alcohol as well, because even moderate drinking starts to increase your risk of cancers like breast cancer and colon.

Dr. Donna Turner, Manitoba Cancer Care, said:

The report highlights that there are 7,000 alcohol-related cancer deaths in Canada each year.

The guidance also recommends that Canada begin requiring warnings on labels.

“This includes a number of standard drinks, health information and ideally a little more information on guidelines,” Naimi said.

One standard drink is a bottle of beer or cider, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce spirits.



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