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Biden's alcohol czar warns US could adopt Canada's guidelines: Only two drinks per week for you
TOBIAS HASE/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

Biden's alcohol czar warns US could adopt Canada's guidelines: Only 2 drinks per week for you

The federal government is considering updating alcohol guidelines to advise Americans to limit themselves to just two alcoholic beverages per week.

Dr. George Koob, head of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told the Daily Mail in an interview this week that U.S. guidance on alcohol consumption may be revised to match Canada's guidance on alcoholic drinks. Beginning this year, Canada urged its residents to consume a limit of two per week.

Koob explained that he is monitoring Canada's "big experiment" and said the U.S. would need to re-evaluate its recommendation if "there's health benefits" up north.

"So, if [alcohol consumption guidelines] go in any direction, it would be toward Canada," he said.

Reducing alcohol recommendations to just two drinks per week would be a significant reduction compared to current standards, which permit two drinks per day. The official Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020–2025) say:

To help Americans move toward a healthy dietary pattern and minimize risks associated with drinking, adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink or to drink in moderation by limiting intakes to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed. This is not intended as an average over several days, but rather the amount consumed on any single day.

One drink is defined as any beverage containing 14 grams of pure alcohol, the equivalent of:

  • One 12 oz. beer at 5% alcohol by volume;
  • One 5 oz. serving of wine at 12% alcohol by volume;
  • One 1 oz. serving of a distilled spirit at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).

The guidelines are currently under review. Any revisions will not be published until the end of 2025.

In his interview with the Daily Mail, Koob reiterated the current scientific consensus about alcohol: there are no known positive health benefits to consuming any. Still, he confessed that he typically drinks two glasses of white wine each week.

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