New Dietary Guidelines Reaffirm Moderate Drinking as Part of Healthy Adult Diet

A newly released report supports moderate drinking as a way to help establish positive dieting patterns.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, jointly released today by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, emphasize that adults who choose to drink should do so in moderation; and reaffirm the definition of a standard drink for beer, wine and distilled spirits; and adopt the new terminology “drink-equivalent.”

According to the guidelines, if consumed in moderation, alcohol “can help individuals achieve healthy eating patterns.”

The 2015 guidelines define moderate drinking for adults of legal drinking age as up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

The guidelines define a standard drink — or a one “drink-equivalent” — as 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% ABV), 5 ounces of wine (12% ABV) and 12 ounces of regular beer (5% ABV).  Each of these standard drinks contain 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of pure alcohol.

“Moderate and responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults can be part of a healthy lifestyle and diet choice,” said Dr. Sam Zakhari, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of Science and former Division Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in a press release. “As with all things, moderation is the key, and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines also make this clear.”

By law, the Dietary Guidelines serve as the basis for federal nutrition policy in the United States.

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