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Europeans are urged to know their alcohol numbers

January 13, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Scientists from Canada and Europe are urging Europeans to keep an inventory of their drinking behavior, treating alcohol intake much as they would keep abreast of their daily calories or their cholesterol count.

Writing in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Jürgen Rehm of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and David Nutt of Imperial College London issued a 10-point plan for increasing awareness of alcohol intake and encouraging government action to limit consumption.

Consumer-focused items in the 10-point plan include keeping daily consumption to no higher than 20 grams for men (less than two drinks in most European countries) and no higher than 15 grams for women. Government-focused items include requiring alcohol gram counts in product labeling, limiting the times and places where alcohol can be purchased, and researching new drugs that would mimic the milder effects of alcohol.

“It is important to create a climate where the risks of alcohol are known, and where governments take their responsibility to reduce problems caused by alcohol,” Nutt said in a news release. “But our method also involves education and self-monitoring approaches of individuals that have already proven effective in relation to cholesterol and blood pressure.”