The number of recommended weekly standard drinks has been slashed, as experts now believe there are less positives than first thought to alcohol.
The number of recommended weekly standard drinks has been slashed, as experts now believe there are less positives than first thought to alcohol.

Aussies warned to cut out the booze

Australians should not drink more than ten standard drinks per week to reduce alcohol-related harm, according to new guidelines adopted by the federal government.

The National Medical Health and Research Council (NMHRC) has updated its alcohol advice, cutting the number of 'maximum' drinks recommended to from 14 to 10. People are also advised to have no more than four drinks in a single day.

Pregnant women, or those planning on getting pregnant, should not consume alcohol at all.

Dr Anne Kelso, CEO of the NMHRC, stressed the guidelines were recommendations rather than rules.

The number of recommended weekly standard drinks has been slashed from 14 to ten.
The number of recommended weekly standard drinks has been slashed from 14 to ten.

"We're not telling Australians how to drink. We're providing advice for people who want to enjoy a glass of wine knowing they're not taking significant health risks," she said.

She said the new number would be easy to remember and took into account the way most Australians drank alcohol.

The nation's peak scientific body has researched the impacts of alcohol consumption for the last four years, and released its guidelines on Tuesday.

The research revealed alcohol consumption was riskier than thought in 2009, when the advice was last updated.

The health benefits of alcohol are not as strong as first thought, according to new research. Picture: Lou O'Brien / Sunshine Coast Newspapers
The health benefits of alcohol are not as strong as first thought, according to new research. Picture: Lou O'Brien / Sunshine Coast Newspapers

Dr Kelso said while the report took into account the benefits of alcohol consumption, those benefits had proven to be smaller than thought.

"The guidelines would actually have a lower number of standard drinks per week, if we assumed there was no benefit from low levels of alcohol consumption," she said.

"But the evidence is growing weaker and more controversial among experts."

One standard drink equates to roughly 100ml of wine, 285ml of mid-strength beer, or a shot of spirits.

Over 4,000 Australians a year die from alcohol-related causes.

Originally published as Aussies warned: cut out the booze


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