Study shows even moderate drinkers are at risk

Even those who drink in moderation may actually be drinking themselves to an early grave, that's according to a study published in 'Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research."

The study shows those who drink more than three times a week are at an increased health risk.

Speaking on CJAD 800's Leslie Robert's Show, Dr. Chris Labos says, "in many cases we're actually consuming much more [alcohol] than we think we are, which is putting us in the high alcohol consumption category."

The study reveals that people who consume alcohol four or more times a week had close to a 20 per cent increased risk of dying than those who drink three or less times a week.

"One of the big problems is that people over-estimate what moderate drinking really means. Moderate drinking usually means drinking one to two drinks per day,  and not drinking every day," Labos said. "But people who are -quote unquote- moderate drinkers, drink more than that."

Health Canada estimates four to five million Canadians engage in high risk drinking. 

Health risks of consuming alcohol include cancer, liver cirrhosis, alcohol poisoning and other diseases and illnesses. 

Here are some "Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines" from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction:

  • Set limits for yourself and stick to them
  • Drink slowly. Have no more than 2 drinks in any 3 hours.
  • For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink.
  • Eat before and while you are drinking
  • Always consider your age, body weight and health problems that might suggest lower limits.
  • While drinking may provide health benefits for certain groups of people, do not start to drink or increase your drinking for health benefits