A panel of experts on Wednesday recommended that the official 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), be updated to advise men to limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day.
The Associated Press reported that experts working on potential changes to the new dietary guidelines, set to be updated and published later this year, said there is not enough evidence to support a different alcohol consumption recommendation for men and women. Under current guidelines, women are recommended to limit consumption to one drink per day, while men are advised to stick to two or fewer.
It isn't yet clear if the experts' recommendations will make it in to the final guidelines update, which will undergo federal review and a public comment period before being published.
“As a nation, our collective health would be better if people generally drank less,” Timothy Naimi, one of the experts on the federal government's panel, told the AP in an interview.
Naimi said available research pointed to a modest increase in the risk of death associated with drinking two alcoholic beverages per day over just one. He also pointed out that many Americans already exceed the current recommendations.
Other changes recommended by the panel include a reduction in the amount of added sugar to which Americans are advised to limit themselves; under the report's recommendations, U.S. adults should limit added sugars to 6 percent of their daily calorie intake, down from 10 percent.
The most recent guidelines, issued in 2015, said that roughly 117 million Americans suffered from preventable diseases related to "poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity."