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Men should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day, experts say

Associated Press
Updated: July 15, 2020 05:09 PM

If you decide to have an alcoholic drink, limiting yourself to one a day is best — whether you're a man or woman.

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That's the new advice experts are recommending for the updated U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Currently, the guidelines say men should limit themselves to two drinks a day, and that women should limit themselves to one.

U.S. health officials aren't required to adopt the committee's recommendations, but consider them in updating the dietary guidelines every five years.

The 2020 update is expected to be released by the end of the year.

"The dietary guidelines are important to the average American because they really guide a lot of federal food policy — food policy around certain nutrition assistance programs, around school lunch, around the kind of food that is bought in federal facilities like for the military or other federal organizations," Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said.

"The food industry also really pays attention to the dietary guidelines and they try to shift their products to meet the foods that are recommended or to limit the foods that are not recommended in the dietary guidelines," Mozaffarian said. "So they have quite a bit of influence on the overall food supply."

Still, the dietary guidelines have their shortcomings.

"One of the interesting limitations of the dietary guidelines is that by law, they are focusing on a generally healthy population," Mozaffarian noted. "So they don't give recommendations for, you know, what, if I have high blood pressure or diabetes or I'm overweight and I want to lose weight?"

Mozaffarian, who is also a cardiologist,  pointed out that more Americans have those conditions than not.

"Something that we should think about for the future, is updating the dietary guidelines to also include advice not only to stay healthy, but to get healthy if you already have a diet-related disease," Mozaffarian noted.

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Associated Press

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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