Mary Alice Reporting – Dietary guidelines have been released and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is troubled about the recommended alcohol intake suggestion.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2020-2025 dietary guidelines for Americans, which is the basis of federal food and nutrition policies, programs, and communications.

Dr. Nigel Brockton, Vice President of the AICR, says they are concerned about the suggestion that alcohol intake, for men, be limited to two per day when they support one alcoholic beverage daily as these beverages can increase the risk of cancer.

“The risk is increased by alcohol, five of those are more common in men than women, [which are] breast, colorectal, stomach, liver, and esophagus. So, although the lower guidelines, which really targeted at reducing breast cancer in women, the evidence that we have now is not justifiable to maintain that difference in intake.”

Brockton points out that with the new five-year guidance, this should have been an opportunity to change the recommendations to the public.

“We did an awareness survey in 2019 and consistently, less than half the population realized that alcohol is a cancer risk so there’s that awareness part and really, the dietary guidelines are that opportunity to really inform people about how to achieve the best diet they can.”

Brockton adds the top three cancer prevention recommendations that folks can include in their lifestyle are maintaining a healthy weight, incorporate physical activity or daily movement, and to eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.

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