New Alcohol Guidelines a Victory for Science over Politics

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It may be impolite to talk politics at the dinner table, but when it comes to government advice on what we eat, political agendas are usually baked in. Updated every five years, the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans have long been the subject of intense lobbying, with special interests vying for recommendations that favor their respective industry or point of view. The latest iteration, finalized by the government this week, was no different.

But, this time around, evidence won out over political agendas.

Back in July, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory panel, a group of 20 experts selected by the government to review the evidence, suggested the guidelines substantially cut recommended levels of sugar and alcohol intake. That triggered backlash from the food and beverage industry. But one recommendation in particular provoked an outcry from the scientific community: to halve the limit on alcohol intake for men.

For five decades or more, the scientific literature on alcohol consistently showed a strong link between moderate intake and better health outcomes compared with those who totally abstain from alcohol or those who binge drink. As such, government alcohol advice since the 1990s has recommended women have no more than one drink a day and men have no more than two drinks daily.

Read the full article on National Review.