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ABI Argues Against Changes to Federal Dietary Guidelines

August 20, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are in the process of crafting the latest iteration of federal dietary guidelines—which seek to counsel Americans about healthy eating and drinking. For 30 years, the guidelines have suggested consuming two drinks per day for men and one for women is aligned with a healthy lifestyle. But now the government is being lobbied to walk back the advice and recommend that both men and women consume no more than one drink per day—cutting male consumption by half.

As part of the drafting process, the American Beverage Institute (ABI) recently submitted formal comments arguing the government doesn’t have sufficient evidence to warrant the change. ABI’s role isn’t to provide an in-depth academic analysis, but to persuade the public that the proposed change lacks common sense. In short, the suggested standard relies on a small pool of historically unreliable survey-based observational studies. Americans don’t depend upon a single Yelp review to decide what hotel to stay-in, so why should their health decisions be contingent on a similar criteria?

Read the full comments here.

The federal dietary guidelines are only part of a broader war on moderation that is attempting to connect even small amounts of alcohol to adverse health consequences and traffic safety threats. Headlines tying even light drinking to cancer and legislative efforts furthering DWI standards that would subject most drivers to jail time for consuming a single drink prior are becoming more common. Left unaddressed, both the health and traffic safety aspects will make adopting higher excise taxes and availability restrictions easier to swallow. It’s evident zero tolerance laws and heavy regulation, not dissimilar to that of tobacco, are the end goals.

Threats towards moderate drinking are ramping-up and the ABI is uniquely positioned to engage on these challenging topics effectively. Thank you for your continued support.
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