Adults should not drink more than 10 standard drinks a week and keep it at four on any given day in order to reduce the risk of alcohol-related health issues, according to new national guidelines.
That’s a reduction from the previous weekly limit of 14 standard drinks, set in 2009.
Set by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the updated guide takes into account the latest scientific findings of the health impacts of alcohol.
There are three guidelines in total, the first in relation to adults while the second says people under the age of 18 should not drink any alcohol in order to reduce the risk of injury and other harm.
The third is targeted at pregnant or breastfeeding women, saying it’s safest to not drink alcohol for the health of babies.
Women who are trying to conceive should not drink alcohol either.
There are more than 4000 alcohol-related deaths and 70,000 hospital admissions in Australia each year.
Alcohol is linked to more than 40 medical conditions, including cancers.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says following the guidelines doesn’t remove all risk.
“Healthy adults drinking within the guideline recommendations have less than a one in 100 chance of dying from an alcohol-related condition,” Professor Kelly said.
The guidelines will underpin health messaging and policy for years until they are next updated.
NHMRC chief Anne Kelso stresses authorities aren’t telling Australians how much to drink.
“We’re providing advice about the health risks so that we can all make informed decisions in our daily lives.”
WHAT IS A STANDARD DRINK?
* 100ml of wine
* 285ml of full strength beer or cider
* 425ml of light beer
* 375ml of mid strength beer
* 30ml of spirits
(Source: Australia and New Zealand food standards code)