New guidelines says two drinks a day increases risk of death

And who do they think is going to be guided by them? This is just more rubbishy "modelling" (Translation: pretentious guesswork) based on equally pretentious epidemiological speculation. All the big Wall St firms had modellers to save them from doing risky things and look where it got them! And none of the climate models predicted that global warming would peak in 1998 and remain flat thereafter either

Two alcoholic drinks a day - the maximum recommended on a regular basis under new national health guidelines - put people at greater risk of death from alcohol than from drowning, being in a pedestrian accident or an accidental fall. The long-awaited [awaited by whom?] guidelines, released yesterday by Australia's top health advice body, warn that the health benefits of alcohol have been overstated, and that someone consuming two drinks a day has nearly one chance in 100 of dying from alcohol-induced injury or illness. That compares with a one-in-683 lifetime risk of drowning, a one-in-403 risk of being in a pedestrian accident and a one-in-125 risk of a fatal fall, the Weekend Australian reports.

World-first modelling of the health risks of alcohol shows that above two drinks a day, the dangers escalate quickly - taking drinkers closer to better-recognised dangers such as car crashes (one in 54), cancer (one in four) and heart disease (one in four).

The guidelines, published by the National Health and Medical Research Council, also recommend that adults drink no more than four drinks on any one occasion. Children and young people under 18, women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers, are all advised to avoid alcohol altogether.

The guidelines, which halve limits set in 2001, were greeted enthusiastically yesterday by health groups. [Yea! New ammunition for dictating to others!]

Despite renewed concern from some experts that many Australians might ignore the advice, some organisations called for even tougher steps. The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation called for mandatory health warnings reflecting the new advice to be put on all alcoholic products, while the Cancer Council Australia said it would have preferred the daily drinking limit for women to be halved again, to one drink.

Jon Currie, chairman of the NHMRC committee that compiled the new advice, said the guidelines were "not telling you what you can and can't do", but were instead designed to help Australians make informed choices about health risks. He said the health benefits of alcohol had been exaggerated and that any positive effect could be achieved by consuming just one drink every two days. In addition, any benefit would affect only middle-aged and elderly people. "There is no level of drinking alcohol that can be guaranteed by scientific evidence as being completely safe," Professor Currie said. [There is no way that Prof. Currie's advice can be guaranteed as completely safe, either]

However, the guidelines have already come in for the same criticism they attracted when released in draft form in October 2007, when they were attacked by some experts as too removed from most people's experience. Alex Wodak, director of the alcohol and drug service at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, said the gap between the two-drink recommended limit and many people's habits was such that "I fear these recommendations will be dismissed by many people".


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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