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New advice Dutch Health Council: "Don't drink alcohol or drink no more than one glass daily"

5 November 2015

The Health Council of the Netherlands, an independent scientific advisory body for government and parliament, published yesterday the Dietary Guidelines 2015. Based on the available scientific literature the advice of the Health Council concerning alcohol consumption is: "Don't drink alcohol or drink no more than one glass daily."

The Health Council states that although there are potential benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption (f.i. lower risk of cardiovascular diseases by drinking small amounts of wine) they do not outweigh the risks. Two glasses daily for men, as previously recommended, it therefore no longer the motto.

The Council concludes that it has been convincingly shown that a high consumption of alcohol increases the risk of stroke and that binge drinking (defined by the Health Council as 60 grams of pure alcohol or more per occasion) increases the risk of heart disease. In addition, high alcohol consumption is associated with a greater risk of breast and colon cancer and a high consumption of beer and spirits is associated with lung cancer.

The report shows that many Dutch people currently drink more than the new guideline: 45% of men and 20% of women drink on average more than one glass of alcohol per day. Of men 14% drink at least once a week, more than six glasses of alcohol on one day. 7% of women have at least once a week over four glasses on one day.

The report was prepared at the request of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Minister for Economic Affairs. The guidelines form the basis for nutrition and food policy in the Netherlands. The existing nutritional guidelines were published nine years ago.

dutch_dietary_guidelines_2015.pdfdutch_dietary_guidelines_2015.pdf (7,71 MB)

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