New UK Alcohol Guidelines

January 19, 2016

The United Kingdom Department of Health released new alcohol consumption guidelines effective January 8, 2016. The new guidelines were constructed with a clearer understanding of the links between alcohol and its health risks, and conclude that there is no justification for recommending drinking on health grounds.

Alcohol-related harm and risks start from any level of regular alcohol consumption, and the risks increase as consumption increases. Research indicates that any alcohol consumption increases the risk of a range of different cancers.

The new guidelines recommend that if men and women drink alcohol, they should drink no more than fourteen units of alcohol a week – equivalent to a bottle and a half of wine over the course of a week – in order to keep their health risks low. The guidelines also clearly state that no level of alcohol consumption is safe to consume during pregnancy.

The UK has approached its new alcohol guidelines with scientific rigor and clarity. The review of evidence has been in progress since 2013, conducted by a panel of public health, alcohol studies, and behavioral science experts. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, stated that the guidelines give the public current, credible information to make informed decisions about risk and behavior.