Countries&#thirty-nine; Secure Alcohol Guidelines Confusing

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 5:02 AM

The World Health Organisation says a standard drink contains 10g of alcohol - but many countries have their own version.

Countries&#thirty-nine; Secure Alcohol Guidelines Confusing

Secure drinking guidelines around the world are so confusing that scientists warn there is a "substantial" risk of misunderstanding.

The quantity of alcohol in a "standard drink" varies greatly in different countries, with 8g in Iceland and the UK to 20g in Australia.

In many conservative countries, "low-risk" drinking means number more than 10g of alcohol per day for women and 20g for men.

In Chile, however, a person can drink 56g of alcohol per day and still be considered a low-risk drinker. 

The figures arrive from research in the journal Addiction, which surveyed the definitions of "standard drink" and "low-risk" drinking in thirty-seventh countries.

Prof Keith Humphreys, a psychiatrist from Stanford Univ in the US and one of the researchers, said: "There'south a substantial chance for misunderstanding.

"A study of the health effects of low-risk drinking in France could be misinterpreted by researchers in the United States who may utilize a different definition of drinking levels.

"Inconsistent guidelines are also likely to expand scepticism among the public about their accuracy. It's not possible that every country is correct; maybe they're all wrong."

Professor Humphreys also said it was unclear whether women should drink less than men, as had been accepted for decades.

In January, recommended alcohol limits were revised in the UK, with a weekly maximum of fourteen units for men and women. Previously, the weekly limit was twenty-one units for men and fourteen units for women.

Other nations using the same guidelines for men as for women comprise Australia, Portugal and S Africa but countries such as the US continue to recommend different limits based on gender.

Professor Humphreys said: "More and more countries are trying to give their citizens guidelines about how much alcohol is secure to drink, and for whom.

"At the very least, we should know whether it'south true that women should drink less than men. But even this is unclear."

He added: "If you think your country should've a different definition of a standard drink or low-risk drinking, get heart - there'south probably another country that agrees with you."

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