Tag: alcohol

Will Health Canada update site with new alcohol guidance? Duclos won’t say – National

Researchers behind the latest guidance on drinking alcohol want Health Canada to update findings on its website to inform the public about safe levels of consumption.

And federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos agrees Canadians should have access to that “important piece of advice.”

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) released a Health Canada-funded report in January that says scientific evidence from around the world suggests no amount of alcohol is safe and low-risk is defined as two drinks per week, instead of two drinks per day, based on its previously recommended limits from 2011. But the old information remains on the federal agency’s site.

Read more:

A drink a day won’t lead to earlier death — but it won’t boost your health either: study

Duclos said people need access to the latest, robust data online to make decisions about drinking and their well-being.

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“I think every Canadian deserves to know what the experts believe,” he said in an interview. “In the end, it’s for people to decide. They need to have easy access to the type of information that matters to them.”

However, Duclos said he could not say if the site would be updated. He deferred to Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, but a spokeswoman for her said the minister was not available for comment.

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In a statement, Bennett’s office said the government will “continue to engage Canadians on policies to address alcohol-related harms and to determine best approaches to disseminate information on risks related to alcohol use.”

“We believe it is essential to have this work done before proceeding to finalizing specific guidance tools and methods of communication.”

However, Bennett has not committed to mandating warning labels on

For your health, less alcohol is better: Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health released

Whitby, Ontario – The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has released Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health. This guidance provides Canadians with the latest evidence-based advice on alcohol to support them in making informed decisions about its use and reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms. The new guidance indicates that all levels of alcohol consumption are associated with some risk, so drinking less is better.

CCSA analyzed recent evidence on illness, cancer risk, violence, injury, and deaths related to alcohol. Among healthy individuals, the risk for alcohol-related harms increases as follows:

  • One to two standard drinks per week is low risk.
  • Three to six standard drinks per week is a moderate risk; increases risk of developing at least seven types of cancers, including breast, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver, mouth and throat.
  • Seven or more standard drinks per week increases risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
  • With each additional drink the risk of having health problems, other diseases and injury exponentially increases (binge drinking is defined as five standard drinks or more for men and four standard drinks or more for women on an occasion).

The new guidance also addresses the specific needs of groups facing a higher risk from the harms associated with alcohol, including youth, women, older adults, and people with chronic diseases.

Other key messages found in Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health include:

  • Disproportionately more injuries, violence and deaths result from men’s drinking.
  • It is safest not to drink while pregnant and during the pre-conception period.
  • For women who are breastfeeding, it is safest not to use alcohol.

In Canada, a standard drink is 17.05 ml or 13.45 g of pure alcohol, which is equivalent to:

  • A bottle of beer (12 oz., 341 ml, five per cent alcohol).
  • A bottle of cider (12

Canadian alcohol guidelines spark debate

Canada’s new guidance on alcohol is sparking plenty of debate, and while some experts say it could lead to frank conversations with health providers to help drinkers make informed choices, others are questioning the advice to imbibe fewer than two drinks per week.

Heidi Tworek, associate professor of public policy at the University of British Columbia, said the guidance aimed at changing people’s behaviour to reduce their risk of alcohol-related cancer or heart disease should be accompanied by other strategies that help them assess their own situation based on family history or alcohol-use disorder, for example.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction said in a report released last week that no amount of alcohol is safe and those who consume up to two standard drinks per week face a low health risk. This increases to moderate risk for three to six weekly drinks, and is high beyond that.

The guidance is more like a dial rather than a light switch that some people will find helpful as they monitor their consumption, said Tworek, a Canada Research Chair in health communication.

“The guidance will reach some people, but there are a lot of people for whom this isn’t going to resonate or they’re never going to hear about it in the first place,” she said.

The CCSA updated its advice from 2011, when it said 15 drinks per week for men and 10 drinks per week for women was considered low risk. The new recommendations were based on the latest research into risk of cancers including of the breast and colon, as well as risk of injuries, accidents and violence.

It also called for governments to mandate warning labels on alcohol bottles and cans so people know how many standard drinks they

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