It’s a pandemic. It’s an economic meltdown. We have riots. People want to de-fund the police. It’s an election year. And those are just the most recent reasons why any of us might want to relax with a cold one at the end of the day. Then we’ve got all the normal reasons like my job sucks (not really), my spouse annoys me (really not really), my kids are a pain (okay, maybe sometimes), and all the other everyday stress of life.
Amidst all this, the government says, “Hey, all you men out there, we told you two drinks per day was fine, but we’ve changed our mind. Just have one.”
Right. One drink. That’s like the start of something good, it’s not the something good.
The independent Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) provides guidance to the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services (HHS). The committee members review scientific evidence and update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) every five years. They just released their 2020 recommendations and, for those of us who like to raise a glass, it’s not good news.
The committee recommended reducing the Guidelines’ definition of moderate drinking for men from the current recommendation of up to two drinks per day to no more than one drink. The recommendation for women remained the same at one drink per day.
But not all is lost! It turns out that the DGAC isn’t really concerned about having one or even two drinks a day. Instead, the committee is trying to curb binge drinking, which means five or more at one sitting, and think that by telling people to just have one, they can stop more men from going from two to five or more.
That’s not good science.
Dr. Sam Zakhari, Science Advisor to the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) a beverage industry trade association, and a former division director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, argued that:
“… the proposal to change the definition of moderate drinking is seriously flawed and is certainly not supported by a preponderance of evidence …
… the Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Report, reaffirmed that the preponderance of evidence shows that light to moderate alcohol consumption, as defined in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and in the absence of binge drinking, presents little health risk for most adults and is associated with reduced all-cause mortality.”
So yes, this is another instance of government bureaucrats trying to create a nanny state and save us from ourselves. Why can’t they just give us the truth (don’t binge drink, it’s bad for you), and leave it at that?
Tonight, let’s raise a glass to Dr. Zakhari for stepping in and saving the second drink!