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Alcohol industry questions ‘perplexing’ logic behind new alcohol consumption limits

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Article image for Alcohol industry questions ‘perplexing’ logic behind new alcohol consumption limits

Australia’s peak health advisory group is pushing to reduce recommended alcohol consumption, but the alcohol industry says the push is not in line with evidence.

The National Health and Medical Research Council now recommends Australians consume no more than 10 standard drinks per week, down from the previous recommendation of 14 per week.

But Alcohol Beverages Australia has accused the health advisory group of cherry-picking data.

“The basis of that is quite perplexing,” CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia, Andrew Wilsmore, told Stephen Quartermain and Tony Leonard, filling in for Ross and Russel.

“They’ve basically … said ‘We’ll get the advice for a woman who drinks three days a week and basically apply that for all Australians’.”

Mr Wilsmore said Australians are drinking at the lowest rate in decades.

“We’re drinking at 50-year lows at the moment. It’s remarkable, the cultural change that has taken place in Australia,” he said.

The draft guidelines were released last December and are expected to be confirmed as Australia’s official alcohol advice this month.

They’ll be the first new guidelines since 2009.

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