Proposed alcohol guidelines in Canada recommend no more than 2 drinks per week

By Tom Yun Retrieved from

TORONTO (CTV Network) — Newly proposed guidelines for alcohol consumption say Canadians should stick to a maximum of two drinks per week in order to reduce their risk of negative health consequences.

A report published by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) Monday follows two years of research and a review of more than 5,000 peer-reviewed studies, and says alcohol in even small quantities can be harmful.

The current Health Canada guidelines, which were also created by the CCSA and last updated in 2011, say men should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than three drinks per day and 15 drinks per week, while women should stick with a maximum of two drinks per day and 10 drinks per week.

Under these guidelines, “one drink” is defined as 12 oz. of beer with 5 per cent alcohol, 5 oz. of wine with 12 per cent alcohol, or 1.5 oz. of hard liquor with 40 per cent alcohol.

But now, the CCSA says even three to six drinks a week can increase the risk of developing certain cancers, such as breast cancer or colon cancer, while more than seven drinks per week can increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

“The risk of negative outcomes begins to increase with any consumption, and with more than two standard drinks, most individuals will have an increased risk of injuries or other problems,” the authors write in the report.

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