WASHINGTON —  The Distilled Spirits Council was recognized this morning by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for being selected as a Charter MyPyramid Corporate Challenge Partner at a formal media unveiling and expo event in Washington D.C.

“We’re pleased that the Distilled Spirits Council has joined the ‘Partnering with MyPyramid: Corporate Challenge,’ becoming part of a 3-pronged movement where government, industry and education are taking aim at encouraging moderate and responsible alcohol consumption among adults who choose to drink,” said Dr. Brian Wansink, Executive Director for USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

The Corporate Challenge was developed by USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion to showcase the role industry plays as partners with government in promoting healthy food and lifestyle choices.  Participating corporations were challenged to develop innovative MyPyramid programs that reinforce the key messages in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Forty-six companies or industry groups were selected as Corporate Partners.

The Distilled Spirits Council was selected for its “Educational Tool Kit on Beverage Alcohol Consumption with Standard Drinks Model.”  Developed in partnership with an advisory panel of nutrition and medical professionals, the Educational Tool Kit provides healthcare professionals with evidence-based resources to discuss alcohol consumption with their patients including patient handouts, assessment tools and an innovative desk-side teaching aide on standard drinks. (www.standarddrinks.com)

The materials in the kit are based on the alcohol guideline from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is published every five years by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture and serves as the basis for nutrition policy in the United States.

The alcohol guideline states, “If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.”  Moderate alcohol consumption is defined in the Guidelines as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.  The Guidelines define a drink as 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, 5 fluid ounces of wine or 12 fluid ounces of regular beer.

“The Dietary Guidelines’ definition of a standard drink will assist consumers in making responsible drinking decisions about alcohol consumption,” said Dr. Monica Gourovitch, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President, Office of Scientific Affairs.  “Over the decades, the Distilled Spirits Council has distributed several thousand copies of the full Dietary Guidelines and several thousand additional copies of the alcohol guideline to physicians, nutritionists and other health professionals.”