New cancer prevention guidelines call for no alcohol consumption

“The American Cancer Society has updated its guideline on diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. Staying at a healthy weight, staying active throughout life, following a healthy eating pattern, and avoiding or limiting alcohol may greatly reduce a person’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer. At least 18% of all cancer cases in the US are related to a combination of these factors.

The updated guideline reflects the latest evidence published since the last update in 2012. It appears in the American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed journal, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

On the point of alcohol use the recommendations say:
“It is best not to drink alcohol. But if you do, women should have no more than 1 drink per day and men should have no more than 2. A drink is 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.”

“Based on increased evidence since the last publication of this guideline, there are several recommendations that differ: increased emphasis on reducing the consumption of processed and red meat, in alignment with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification in 2015 of processed meats as a carcinogen and red meat as a probable carcinogen; increased emphasis on reducing the consumption of alcohol; and the addition of possible evidenced‐based strategies to reduce barriers to healthy eating and active living and to reduce alcohol consumption.”

Find more from American Cancer Society (USA, June 2020)

“For the first time they’re saying not one drink a day for women, not two drinks a day for men,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief medical correspondent and a board-certified OBGYN. “They’re saying the best thing you can do for your health is to avoid alcohol completely.”

“They really called this out as the third most major modifiable risk factor for our health and cancer reduction and prevention, behind not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight,” added Ashton, who was not involved in the release of the American Cancer Society’s new guidelines.”

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