Drinking Guidelines Around the World Country Source Men Women Standard Drink (g) 10 Other Recommendations Department of Public Recommendations on Healthy Nutrition in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Albania up to 20g/day up to 20g/day up to 20g/day; up to 20g/day; No more than 2 standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm; no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion For children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. Australia 10 up to 40g on any one up to 40g on any one In some situations, not drinking is the safest option; this includes: when taking part in recreational or occupational activities that require a high level of attention, psychomotor skills, and concentration (e.g., driving, water activities, operating heavy machinery, etc.) when supervising others who are taking part in such activities; when supervising children. Specific population groups can be at increased risk if they drink alcohol; these include: young adults aged 18 to 25 years; older people aged over 60 years; people with family history of alcohol dependence; people who use drugs illicitly. A range of people may need to seek professional advice about drinking because of the possibility of interactions and harmful effects; they include: anyone taking medication; people with alcohol- related or other physical conditions that can be made worse or affected by alcohol; people with mental health conditions. The "hazardous level" of drinking alcohol (posing unacceptable risk for health consequences) is defined as consuming 40g or more for women and 60g or more for men. Children, adolescents, adults and persons who perform hazardous activities should not drink no alcohol and pregnant women should not consume alcohol. Older people's bodies may be more sensitive to alcohol, therefore they should decrease their alcohol consumption. Drinking immoderate amounts of alcohol has harmful effects on health. Men should drink no more than two drinks or 20 g of pure alcohol a day, while women can drink only one drink, and 10 g of pure alcohol. Pregnant women should refrain from drinking alcohol! Recommendations are for ages 18-65. Moderate consumption is up to 20mL or 16g of pure ethanol per day, equivalent to a glass of wine, a beer, or 50mL spirit. Due to metabolic differences, for women moderate consumption is about half of these amounts. These recommendations equate to up to 207g/week or 41.4g/day for men and 138g/week or 27.6g/day for women. Federal Ministry of Health, "Normal" alcohol consumption and its health consequences Institute for Public Guide on nutrition for the adult population Ministry of Health, Guidelines for healthy eating for the Bulgarian population aged 18-65 (2006) Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Austria 24g/day 16g/day 20 Bosnia and Herzegovin a Bulgaria up to 20g/day up to 10g/day 10 up to 16g/day up to 8g/day [n/a] Canada 15 drinks a week, with no more than 3 No more than 4 drinks on 10 drinks a week, with no more than 2 drinks a No more than 3 drinks on 13.6-13.8 A standard drink is 341 ml 5% alcohol beer, cider or cooler; 142 ml 12% alcohol wine; 43 ml 40% distilled alcohol. Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines [link]
Teens should speak with their parents about drinking. If they choose to drink, they should do so under parental guidance; never more than 1–2 drinks at a time, and never more than 1–2 times per week. They should plan ahead, follow local alcohol laws and consider the Safer drinking tips listed. A standard drink is the equivalent of a glass of wine (150 cc) a bottle of beer (350 cc) one spirit measure, on its own or with a mixer (45 grams of spirit). Chile Alcohol and Drugs Programme in Primary Care of the Brief interventions to reduce risky alcohol consumption: Technical Ministry of Health, Up to 39g/day or 143g/wee k Up to 26g/day or 143 g/week 14 For both sexes, avoid drinking even if at a low level if it leads to intoxication or drunkenness. Croatia 20g/day 10g/day 10 Moderate drinking is one to two drinks a day, not more than 20g of pure alcohol for men and 10 g for women. A standard drink contains 10 g of alcohol. Dietary guidelines for adults (2002) Ministry of Health, National nutrition and exercise guidelines National Institute of Public Health, Assessment of Alcohol Consumption National Board of Health, Official Dietary Guidelines (2015) [link] Cyprus 2 drinks per day 1 drink per day [n/a] If you drink alcohol, do not exceed one drink for women and two for men per day. Prefer red wine, as it is rich in antioxidants. Czech Republic less than 24g/day less than 16g/day [n/a] Never more than 30g in one day. The recommendations are for adults (aged over 18 years) who are healthy and not engaged in risky behaviors or taking medication. Do not exceed 5 drinks (60g) on one occasion. Denmark low risk up to high risk from low risk up to high risk from 12 If you are elderly, be especially careful with alcohol. Children and young people under 16 should not drink alcohol. Young people between 16 and 18 years should drink as little as possible. 1 unit corresponds to 0.3 liters of beer (5% alcohol content), or 60-70 ml wine (up to 12°) or 30 ml of strong male and drink (40°). Limit alcohol to 10-30 g ethanol per day. Guidelines for the elderly do not differ. Estonia Estonian Nutrition Society Estonian Nutrition and Food National Food and Nutrition Center Food and Health Guidelines for Fiji National Nutrition Beverages in Nutrition Report (2008) Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, and Alco-Info-Service webpage [link] up to 30g/day up to 10g/day 12 Fiji 60g/day or 210g/wee k, with no more 2 drinks (20g)/day , elderly men 1 40g/day or 140g/week , with no more than 10g/hour 1 drink or 10g/day 10 Finland 12 Young people and children should not consume alcohol at all. France up to 30g/day or 210 g/week, or 40g on up to 20g/day or 140 g/week, or 40g on 10 The National Program for Health & Nutrition (2011-15) recommends: Those who drink should reduce their consumption; pregnant women should not drink; do not drink and drive.
Georgia Ministry of Labor, Health and Healthy eating – the main key to health Federal Center for Health Education. Know Your Limit Government of Grenada, Food-based Dietary Guidelines (2006) Ministry of Health Food-based dietary guidelines for Guyana Department of Health & Social Security, Effects of Alcohol on Public Health Programme for a Dietary Guidelines to the Adult Population Health Service Health Promotion Unit webpage [link] 20g/day 10g/day 10 Germany up to 24g/day up to 12g/day [n/a] At least two days of abstinence from alcohol a week are recommended. Grenada up to 8g/day and never 56g or up to 8g/day and never 56g or more at ~8 Alcohol taken in moderation is defined as one drink a day such as: 5oz of wine, or 12oz beer, or 10oz of wine cooler, or 1.5oz of distilled liquor (rum, vodka, whiskey etc.) Taking 7 drinks all at once, in one day would not be considered moderation. Guyana up to 8g/day up to 8g/day 8 It is advisable not to drink alcohol, but for those who do, not more than one drink per day is recommended. Hong Kong up to 20g/day up to 10g/day 10 "Low risk" is not "no risk". Even within these limits, drinkers can still have problems if they drink too quickly, have health problems or are older. If you drink, drink sensibly. Hungary 2 drinks per day 1 drink per day [n/a] 1 unit of alcohol: 2-3dl beer, or 1-1.5dl wine, or 2cl of spirits. It is wise to drink alcoholic beverages at the time of meals, because alcohol will be then absorbed more slowly. At least two alcohol-free days are recommended. Increased risk drinking is defined as 18-40 drinks per week for men and 12-28 drinks per week for women, with effects of less energy, depression/stress, insomnia, impotence, risk of injury, high blood pressure. High risk drinking is defined as 41+ drinks per week for men and 29+ drinks per week for women, with effects as above and in addition memory loss, risk of liver disease, risk of cancer, risk of alcohol dependence. Recommended: Pregnant women should not drink; students should not drink more than one unit of alcohol per drinking session; avoid alcohol if taking medication. Ireland up to 170g/wee k up to 110g/week 10 Israel Ministry of Education, Psychological & Counselling Services National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Eating for Italy (2003) [n/a] Italy up to 36g/day up to 20g/day 12 What is considered a moderate dose for one person may be excessive for another due to various factors. This amount, to be taken during meals, must be understood as the upper limit beyond which the adverse effects begin to prevail on the positive ones. Drink in moderation over time, giving your liver time to metqbolize the alcohol - for a man of about 70kg body weight, it might take 2 hours to metabolize the alcohol in a glass of wine. Elderly people are also advised to limit the consumption of alcohol to one drink daily. Alcoholics in treatment and former alcoholics must absolutely abstain. elderly: 10g/day elderly: 10g/day Japan Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare 1-2 units/day (19.75- 39.5g/da 19.75
Lithuania Health and Prevention Training Center, Kaunas medical University, Endorsed Healthy Eating Guidelines (2010) Ministry of Health, Alcohol and dependency webpage [link] Ministry of Health Nutrition Guidelines for the Population of Macedonia (2014) [link] Agency against Drug and Alcohol Abuse 20g/day 20g/day 10 Luxembour g 210g/wee k 140g/week 10 Single-occasion risky drinking is defined as 30g for women and 40g for men. Do not drink alcohol to quench thirst. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol. If you drink alcohol regularly, take pauses of several weeks each to determine alcohol's place in your life. Minors and women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should avoid alcohol altogether. Macedonia 28.8g/da y 14.4g/day 14.4 Malta 18-21 years old: up to 16g per occasion maximum over 21 years old: up to 168g/wee k spread over at least five days; not more up to 20g/day 18-21 years old: up to 16g per occasion maximum over 21 years old: up to 112g/ week spread over at least five days; not up to 10g/day 8 There are situations where a person should not drink alcohol since even the smallest amount can be harmful: Pregnant women, women who believe they may be pregnant or women who may be trying to become pregnant; Before driving or operating machinery. "It's not the drinking.. It's how we’re drinking" booklet [link] Namibia Ministry of Health and Social Services, Nutrition Guidelines for Prevention and Management of NCDs (2013) The Nutrition Center, Guidelines for Healthy Eating 2011 [link] 10 Alcohol to be avoided in case of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, peptic ulcers, and food allergies. Netherland s up to 20g/day, not to exceed 60g in up to 10g/day up to 10g/day, not to exceed 40g in two up to 10g/day 10 Binge drinking should be avoided. Alcohol consumption is ill-advised for people under 18 years of age, pregnant women, women attempting to become pregnant, and women who are breastfeeding, and prospective fathers until the pregnancy is confirmed. Men who regularly drink in excess of 20g/day may become impotent. Do not drink alcohol or at least not more than one drink per day. The Health Council of the Netherlands, Scientific report on revisions to
New Zealand Ministry of Health, up to 30g/day or 150g/wee k, or 50g over 64 years old: 30g/ day, or 150g/wee k, or 50g up to 20g/day, or 100g/week over 64 years old: 20g/day, or 100g/week , or 40g on 10 Low-risk is not no-risk. Even when drinking within low-risk limits, a range of factors can affect your level of risk, including the rate of drinking, your body type or genetic makeup, your gender, existing health problems and if you are young or an older person. There are times and circumstances when you should not drink alcohol. It's advisable not to drink if you: are pregnant or planning to get pregnant; are on medication that interacts with alcohol; have a condition made worse by drinking alcohol; feel unwell, depressed, tired or cold as alcohol could make things worse; are about to operate machinery or a vehicle or do anything that is risky or requires skill. Health Promotion AgencyAlcohol.org.nz For children and young people under 18 years, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. Those under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking alcohol and not drinking in this age group is especially important. For young people aged 15 to 17 years, the safest option is to delay drinking for as long as possible. If 15 to 17 year olds do drink alcohol, they should be supervised, drink infrequently and at levels usually below and never exceeding the adult daily limits. High alcohol consumption over time has various health consequences. But it is difficult to know what is too high alcohol consumption for the individual. And men and women react in differently to alcohol, partly because of different body mass and physiology. It also matters how we drink. Binge-drinking, at least five drinks on the same occasion, increases both the risk of accidents and health hazards. The WHO recommendation (up to 21 drinks /week for men and 14 drinks / week for women) are shown on the information portal. Nutrition Guidelines for Filipinos (10 statements revised in 2012) include "10. Be physically active, make healthy food choices, manage stress, avoid alcoholic beverages and do not smoke to help prevent lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases." Two alcohol-free days a week are recommended. Eating for Healthy Adults [link] Norway Directorate for Health & Social Welfare, [n/a] [n/a] 12 AV-OG-TIL webpage [link] Department of Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol National Programme for Preventing and Resolving Alcohol- Related Problems (2011-2015) Ministry of Health, National Program of Integrated Intervention on New Daily Food Choice Food Wheel Ministry of Health, Healthy Eating Guidelines 2006 Philippines [n/a] [n/a] [n/a] Poland up to 20g/day but 100g/wee k up to 10g/day but 50g/week 10 Portugal Consump tion without risk: 3 glasses of beer (5%ABV) Consumpti on without risk: 2 glasses of beer (5%ABV) or 1 small [n/a] Excessive consumption: for men above 24g/day and for women above 16g/day Romania 15- 20g/day 32- 40g/day [n/a] Rule 8 (of 9) for healthy eating: Consume alcohol in moderation or not at all. While modest quantities of alcohol are not detrimental to most people and can even have beneficial effects in certain circumstances, regular consumption of excessive amounts carries substantial risks.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Health, [n/a] [n/a] ~8 A drink is defined as 5 Ounces Wine OR 12 Ounces Beer OR 1 ½ Ounce Spirit, although no daily, weekly or other limit is advised. "Tips for reducing alcohol use: Make less alcohol available at home; When out drinking, alternate alcoholic drink with water; Do not give alcohol to minors (children) Use small amounts of alcohol when cooking, if necessary; Choose to drink fruit juices or water instead of an alcoholic drink" Food-based dietary guidelines for St. Kitts and Nevis (2010) Serbia Institute for Mental Responsible Drinking Guidelines (2014) up to 2 drinks per occasion up to 1 drink per occasion and 7 12.8-13.4 1 drink is 330mL 5% beer, 140mL 12% wine, or 40mL 40% spirit Abstain for at least 2 days per week. Minors and pregnant women should avoid alcohol altogether. The 2003 Dietary Guidelines are currently under revision. 20g/day and 14 10g/day drinks/wee Singapore Ministry of Health Dietary Guidelines for Adult Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 (2003) Institute of Public Health of Slovenia, presentation at 2015 National Conference South African National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence 10 Slovenia up to 20g/day or 140/week or not to exceed 21 units/wee k up to 10g/day or 70g/week or 30g/drinki not to exceed 14 units/week (168g/wee k) 10 At least one day per week should be completely alcohol-free. South Africa [n/a] The government's position is outlined in a brochure titled Healthy Lifestyles (1995), which calls for drinking in moderation ("Limit yourself to no more than 2 to 3 drinks a day"). South Africa's Food-Based Dietary Guidelines, revised in 2012, no longer include recommendations on alcohol use. The columns on the left reflect "low risk consumption". "Medium risk consumption" is defined as 26-40g/day or 171-280g/week (women) or 40g on one occasion and 41-60g/day or 281- 420g/week (men) or 60g on one occasion. *Additional regional guidelines vary, to be updated Spain Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality "Alcohol and you: Do you limit it or are you limited by it?" webpage National Health Board, Brief National Food up to 40g/day or 280g/wee k up to 25g/day or 170g/week 10 Sweden up to 14 drinks / week, 5 drinks at once up to 9 drinks / week, 4 drinks at once 660 ml beer, 120- 150 ml wine, 40 ml spirit Hazardous use of alcohol means either that you have a high average consumption of alcohol (see left) or you drink a lot of alcohol at one occasion at least once a month. It is recognised that moderate alcohol intake may have certain positive medical effects. Food-based guidelines refer to the high caloric content of alcohol and counsel moderation, without suggesting specific daily or weekly limits. At least two days of abstinence from alcohol are recommended per week. Switzerlan d Swiss Federal Commission for (Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol & Drugs Problems) Alcohol facts webpage Ministry of Public Food based Dietary up to 30g/day up to 20g/day 10 Those under 16 years of age should avoid alcohol altogether. Pregnant and lactating women as well as people who take medications, drive, are at work or engage in activities that require concentration are strongly recommended to avoid alcohol. Those over 60 years of age should be aware of differences in how alcohol affects them. "The regular consumption of alcoholic drinks should be reduced if not avoided altogether" Thailand [n/a] [n/a] [n/a]
United Kingdom Department of Health, UK Chief Medical Officers’ Alcohol Guidelines Review: Summary of the proposed new guidelines January 2016 Propose d: up to 16g/day Proposed: up to 16g/day 8 Proposed: If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over 3 days or more. If you have one or two heavy drinking sessions, you increase your risks of death from long term illnesses and from accidents and injuries. The risk of developing a range of illnesses (including, for example, cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases with any amount you drink on a regular basis. If you wish to cut down the amount you’re drinking, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week. Proposed: The sorts of things that are more likely to happen if you don’t judge the risks from how you drink correctly can include: accidents resulting in injury (causing death in some cases), misjudging risky situations, and losing self-control. These risks can arise for people drinking within the weekly guidelines for regular drinking, if they drink too much or too quickly on a single occasion; and for people who drink at higher levels, whether regularly or infrequently. Some groups of people are likely to be affected more by alcohol and should be more careful of their level of drinking on any one occasion: young adults, older people, those with low body weight, those with other health problems, those on medicines or other drugs. up to 32g/day up to 24g/day Current recommendations state that men and women "should not regularly drink" the respective amounts. "Regularly" means drinking every day or most days of the week; a break of 48 hours after a heavy drinking session is recommended "to let your body recover." "Don't mix alcohol with any kind of medication as it can reduce the effect of the medication and increase harmful side-effects; don't mix alcohol with recreational drugs; don't drink and drive or operate machinery; be careful if you have mental health problems such as depression, as alcohol can make these worse." 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. … if alcohol is consumed, the calories from alcohol should be accounted for so that the limits on calories for other uses and total calories are not exceeded... Know Your Limits website [link] National Health Service, Alcohol Misuse webpage [link] United States Department of Agriculture and Department of Health & Human Services, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 [link] up to 28g/day up to 14g/day 14 over 60 years old: up to 12g/da y or 84g/w eek, over 60 years old: up to 12g/day or 84g/we ek, never more than 24g at Many individuals should not consume alcohol, including individuals who are taking certain over- the-counter or prescription medications or who have certain medical conditions, those who are recovering from alcoholism or are unable to control the amount they drink, and anyone younger than age 21 years. Individuals should not drink if they are driving, planning to drive, or are participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness. High-risk drinking: 56g or more on any day or 112g/week or more for women and 70g or more on any day or 210g/week or more for men. Binge drinking: consumption within about 2 hours of 56g or more for women and 70g or more for men. Excessive alcohol consumption: includes binge drinking, heavy drinking (112g/week or more for women and 210g/week or more for men), and any drinking by pregnant women or those under 21 years of age Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Administration on Aging, Older Americans behavioral health issue brief 2: Alcohol misuse and abuse prevention 2012 [link]
United States National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), up to 56g/day on any one day, if aged over 65: up to 42g on up to 42g on any one day, up to 98g/week 14 If you have a health problem or take certain medications, you may need to drink less or not at all. Rethinking Drinking webpage [link] NIAAA Older Adults webpage [link]