2010 Federal Dietary Guidelines Underscore Moderation, Standard Drinks Education and Alcohol as Part of a Healthy Adult Diet
Federal Officials Say Guidelines Should Serve as Basis for U.S. Nutrition Advice and Public Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released today by the Federal government, underscored the definition of a standard drink and urged that the Alcohol Guideline be used as the basis for nutrition advice and public policy.
The Guidelines define a drink as 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% ABV), 5 ounces of wine (12% ABV) and12 ounces of regular beer (5% ABV). The Guidelines point out that each of these standard drinks contain 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol.
“The Government today emphasized the scientific fact that a standard drink of beer, wine and distilled spirits each contains the same amount of alcohol,” said Dr. Monica Gourovitch, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs. Gourovitch noted that this scientific fact is also taught by public health organizations, as well as other leading federal agencies on alcohol matters, and state education programs.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, which jointly release the Guidelines every five years, stated that “All federally-issued dietary guidance for the general public is required by law to be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
Gourovitch added, “The Dietary Guidelines serve as the basis for nutrition policy in the United States and should also serve as the basis for all alcohol-related public policy at the federal and state levels. Alcohol is alcohol and it all should be treated equally, as a matter of public health and public policy.”
Guidelines Encourage Those Who Drink To Do So in Moderation
“Moderate and responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults can be part of an enjoyable lifestyle and diet choice. As with all things, moderation is the key and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines also make this clear,” said Gourovitch.
The 2010 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. Some people should not drink alcohol beverages at all.
The Guidelines also discuss the potential risks and benefits associated with alcohol consumption; these health effects are the same for beer, wine or distilled spirits.
Since the release of the 2000 Guidelines, the Distilled Spirits Council has distributed several thousand copies of the Alcohol Guideline to physicians, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. In recognition of these outreach efforts, the Distilled Spirits Council was selected by USDA in 2008 as a corporate partner for promoting moderate and responsible consumption of alcohol.
“The Council will continue its leadership role in disseminating the 2010 Alcohol Guideline to healthcare professionals across the country,” said Gourovitch.
To view the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans go to: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf
To view the USDA Backgrounder on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/Backgrounder.pdf