UK Recommends Two Drink-Free Days Per Week

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- People should have at least two drink-free days out of the week, according to new U.K. government guidelines set out by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.  The committee said recommendations needed to be revamped because they can be conflicting and difficult to understand.

In 1987, U.K. national guidelines suggested that men should drink a maximum of 21 units per week and women should not exceed 14 units per week.  But, in 1995, guidelines changed when the government recommended against more than three to four units per day and two to three units per day for women, according to BBC News.  Some experts questioned whether the new guidelines validated daily alcohol consumption.

In the report, government officials suggested the new recommendations, “enforce the message that drinking every day should be avoided.”

American guidelines recommend fewer drinks per week: a maximum of 14 units per week for men (and no more than four in one day) and seven (or no more than three in one day) for non-pregnant women.

A “unit” of alcohol is 10 to 12 grams, or the amount in a 12-ounce can of beer, 4 to 5 ounces of wine, or a shot of 100-proof liquor.

While many studies have shown that small amounts of alcohol have potential health benefits, exceeding recommended amounts can have debilitating effects on one’s liver, weight, mental health, and other parts of the body.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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