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Canada’s Drinking Guidelines Have NOT Changed

The mainstream and industry media continues to report that Canada’s “low risk drinking guidelines” have changed and that they have been reduced to “two drinks per week”. If true, this would be a dramatic reduction from the previous guidelines which were 15 drinks per week for men and 10 drinks per week for women.

Many stories have reported this, a few of them are here: Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and NY Times.

However, the stories are NOT correct. Canada\’s drinking guidelines have NOT changed and remain the same as they were in 2011. The official guidelines, from Health Canada (a federal government agency) are still located here and are unchanged: Health Canada Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.

Unfortunately, what has happened is that an advisory group has recommended that Health Canada lower the guidelines. Health Canada has neither accepted nor rejected that recommendation. I note that the title of the report containing the recommendations (“Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health”) is misleading as it implies that Health Canada has already accepted the recommendations when it has not.

The group that I lead believes that these recommendations are flawed and should not be adopted. There is more information on our web site located here (Canadian Assoc. for Responsible Drinkers) including our analysis of why the recommendations contained in the report are flawed.