The coming recommendations on wine in new Dietary Guidelines for wine is going to change how wine is viewed and the wine industry better prepare.
Source: Tom Wark.
What happens when the U.S. government recommends that the healthiest option is to not drink any wine and if you do choose to drink wine, that you consume no more than 2 drinks per week? What happens when this advice is disseminated from millions of points on the Internet?
This is the advice provided to Canadians by the Canadian government and it is the kind of advice on drinking wine that Dr. George Koop, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggested the U.S. Guidelines could mimic:
I mean, they’re not going to go up, I’m pretty sure. So, if [alcohol consumption guidelines] go in any direction, it would be toward Canada.
The committee created to review alcohol consumption had their fisrt meeting, where they revised America’s dietary guidelines—including the same dietary guidelines for wine that, in 2020, suggested men limit their drinking to two drinks per day and women to one drink per day.
Among the questions this committee is charged with answering are the following:
- What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight and obesity?
- What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and risk of certain types of cancer?
- What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease?
- What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and neurocognitive health?
- What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and risk of all-cause mortality?
Though this committee will not be making recommendations on what should be included about alcohol in the 2025-2030 dietary guidelines set to be released in 2025, their answers to the above questions will play a key role in informing the committee heading up the dietary guidelines development.
And don’t count on any industry perspective being relayed to this committee. There is a concerted effort to assure that anyone with even the slightest connection to the alcohol industry is let anywhere near the committee.
Here is what the U.S. 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for wine currently have to say about alcohol consumption:
Adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, when alcohol is consumed. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more. There are some adults who should not drink alcohol, such as women who are pregnant.
This was the same advice that was given in the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines: “If alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.”
The 2010-2015 guidelines were a little different:
The consumption of alcohol can have beneficial or harmful effects, depending on the amount consumed, age, and other characteristics of the person consuming the alcohol. Alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects when consumed in moderation. Strong evidence from observational studies has shown that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Moderate alcohol consumption also is associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality among middle-aged and older adults and may help to keep cognitive function intact with age. However, it is not recommended that anyone begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits because moderate alcohol intake also is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, violence, drowning, and injuries from falls and motor vehicle crashes.
Lower risk of cardiovascular disease”….”reduced risk of all-cause mortality”….”may help to keep cognitive function intact with age.
Now, scroll back up and take a look at questions 3, 4, and 5 which will be examined by the committee advising the Dietary Guideline Committee on alcohol.