Alcohol & Health

Alcohol & Health

The decision whether to drink and, if so, how much to drink is a personal one.

You should consult with your doctor or primary health care provider who can help you understand your personal risk profile and advise you as to whether drinking in moderation can be consistent with your personal health plan.

For people with particular health issues or a family history of certain diseases, the best course of action is to refrain from drinking altogether. In addition, it is clear that:

- Pregnant women should abstain from drinking

- Underage people should not drink.

- Excessive consumption of alcohol should be avoided.

- And no one should drive or operate heavy machinery after drinking.

Many governments throughout the world have provided information on the risks associated with drinking and published guidelines1 related to alcohol consumption. Links to some of these are listed below.

For example, in the US, the dietary guidelines suggest that: “If alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.” The US dietary guidelines also advise that “high-risk drinking is the consumption of 4 or more drinks on any day or 8 or more drinks per week for women and 5 or more drinks on any day or 15 or more drinks per week for men.”

In 2016, the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officer revised that country’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines,2 making the recommendations the same for men and women, concluding:

“To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

“If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risks of death from long-term illness and from accidents and injuries."

“The risk of developing a range of health problems increases the more you drink on a regular basis."

“If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.”

The World Health Organization (WHO), in its 2014 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health,3  associates the “harmful use” of alcohol with an increased risk of adverse health outcomes. The WHO Report divides these outcomes into the following major categories: neuropsychiatric conditions, gastrointestinal diseases, cancers, intentional injuries, unintentional injuries, cardiovascular diseases, fetal alcohol syndrome, diabetes, and infectious diseases.

 

ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES OF INFORMATION AND GOVERNMENTAL GUIDELINES ON DRINKING & HEALTH

Physicians are best situated to provide guidance on your alcohol consumption. They can advise you throughout your life on how your current drinking patterns may impact your health, taking into account the latest medical research, your overall health status, your personal and family medical histories, and your environment, among other factors.

Below are links to additional sources of information on drinking and health provided by the governments of many countries, public health agencies and organizations, and industry. This abbreviated list does not represent all available resources on the subjects addressed. Rather, these links are provided solely for ease of reference. AB InBev is not responsible for the content of external links and is not stating a view or endorsement of any particular link by its inclusion or exclusion here.

International

WHO

The World Health Organization has issued a variety of reports on the subject of alcohol and health. They may be accessed here: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/alcohol.

IARD

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking has published reports on medical studies regarding drinking and cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, obesity, cancer, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and liver disease, which can be accessed here: https://www.iard.org/science-resources/category/health.

 

National

Argentina

Dietary Guidelines: http://www.msal.gob.ar/ent/index.php/informacion-para-ciudadanos/menos-sal--vida/482-mensajes-y-grafica-de-las-guias-alimentarias-para-la-poblacion-argentina

Australia

Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/alcohol/about-alcohol

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC): https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-advice/alcohol

NHMRC Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2009): https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-guidelines-reduce-health-risks-drinking-alcohol

Brazil

2008 Dietary Guidelines (including alcohol consumption):
http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/guia_alimentar_populacao_brasileira_2008.pdf 4  

Canada

Centre on Substance Use and Addiction’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: https://www.ccsa.ca/canadas-low-risk-alcohol-drinking-guidelines-brochure

China

Dietary Guidelines: http://dg.cnsoc.org/

Germany

Federal Center for Health Education: https://www.kenn-dein-limit.de/#_

India

National Drug Dependence Treatment Center (NNDTC): https://www.alcoholwebindia.in/content/alcohol-you

NDDTC Useful Tips for Lower-Risk Drinking: https://www.alcoholwebindia.in/content/useful-tips-lower-risk-drinking-1

Mexico

Prevention guide: http://www.conadic.salud.gob.mx/Guia_Preventivas/La_neta_del_alcohol.pdf

General information about alcohol: http://www.conadic.salud.gob.mx/pdfs/informe_alcohol.pdf

South Africa

Healthy Lifestyle Booklet: http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/component/phocadownload/category/166

United Kingdom

National Health System (NHS): https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/the-risks-of-drinking-too-much/#

UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines 2016

United States

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-9/

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health

 

A summary of various other nations’ guidelines can be found at: https://www.iard.org/science-resources/detail/Drinking-Guidelines-General-Population


1. See https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines 

2. See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545937/UK_CMOs__report.pdf 

3. See http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/en 

4. See The most recent Brazilian Dietary Guidelines, which do not address alcohol consumption, may be found here: http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/guia_alimentar_populacao_brasileira_2ed.pdf