DISCUS - Distilled Spirit Council of the United States - April is Alcohol Awareness Month

The Distilled Spirits Council – DISCUS is marking “April – Alcohol Awareness Month” by encouraging adult consumers who choose to drink to take time to reflect on their alcohol consumption and embrace moderation year-round.

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States - 2018 logo
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“Alcohol can be enjoyed as part of a healthy adult lifestyle, but responsible drinking and moderation are essential,” said Dr. Sam Zakhari, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of Science.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which forms the basis of federal nutrition policy and programs, define moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

What’s a “standard” drink?

DISCUS - Distilled Spirit Council of the United States - April is Alcohol Awareness Month
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Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink. In the United States, a “standard” drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol. Although the drinks pictured here are different sizes, each contains approximately the same amount of alcohol and counts as a single standard drink. The percent of “pure” alcohol, expressed here as alcohol by volume (alc/vol), varies by beverage.

“Part of responsible drinking is knowing the definition of a drink-equivalent of beer, wine and spirits,” said Zakhari.  “According to the Dietary Guidelines, a drink-equivalent is 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40 percent ABV), 5 ounces of wine (12 percent ABV) and 12 ounces of regular beer (5 percent ABV).  Each of these standard servings contain the same amount of alcohol.”

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Scientific research has shown that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.  Importantly, Zakhari added that no one should choose to drink to achieve potential health benefits and even moderate drinking may pose risks for some individuals.

Zakhari recommended that those adults who have questions regarding alcohol and health should discuss the potential risks and potential benefits with his/her physician who can determine what is best for that person based on individual risk factors, such as family history, genetics and lifestyle.  For some people, the better choice may be to not drink at all.

For additional information on alcohol consumption and moderation, please visit RethinkingDrinking.

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