Is it time for global alcohol consumption guidelines?

Topic Selected: Alcohol

General Article icon Type: General Article

The study examined Government alcohol consumption guidelines in 57 countries, including all 27 European Member States, and found a remarkable lack of agreement about what constitutes harmful or excessive alcohol consumption on a daily basis or weekly basis.

Key findings were:

  • Muslim countries and eight of the 27 EU member states (including Cyprus, Greece and Hungary) do not have readily accessible guidelines. Some countries refer to standard drinks, but do not define them in grams of ethanol  (e.g. Kenya, Malta).
  • Some countries do not define standard drinks, but offer general guidance encouraging moderate alcohol consumption and/or abstinence in certain circumstances  (e.g. Belgium, India, Norway, Western Samoa).
  • The alcohol content of a ‘unit’ or ‘standard drink’ ranges from 8 g in the UK  to 14 g in Slovakia and the USA.
  • In some countries the weekly maximum is simply seven times the daily m

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