This table details recommendations for alcohol consumption (drinking guidelines) issued by government bodies in various countries. Generally, these recommendations apply to healthy adults. It is specified when other groups are the targets of the recommendations. Standard drinks are shown in grams of ethanol, or as described in the source document. Guidelines for women who may become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding are detailed separately in the table Drinking Guidelines: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.
It is updated on an ongoing basis as government entities publish and revise their guidelines.
If you have information about a country not currently listed, or if you find any of the information outdated, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). (2018). Drinking guidelines: General population. Retrieved from http://www.iard.org/resources/drinking-guidelines-general-population/
|Country/Territory||Source||Men||Women||Standard drink g||Other recommendations|
|Albania||Department of Public Health |
Recommendations on Healthy Nutrition in Albania (2008)
|up to 20 g/day||up to 20 g/day||10|
|Argentina||Ministry of Health, |
Dietary Guidelines for the Argentinian Population (2015)
|2 drinks/day||1 drink/day||14 |
300-350 mL beer, 150 mL wine, or 45 mL spirit
|Consumption of alcoholic beverages should be responsible. Children, adolescents and pregnant women should not consume them. Always avoid them when driving.
1. Responsible consumption in adults is at most, daily, two measures for men and one measure for women.
2. Consumption that is not responsible generates serious harms and risks to health.
|Armenia||Ministry of Health, Order 191 of 16 February 2010 Adult dietary guidelines||20 g/day||10 g/day||[none]||Do not use alcohol, if you are driving or doing work that requires focus, or you are taking medication.|
|Australia||National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) |
Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2009)
Note: The NHMRC is revising these guidelines in 2016-2018.
|up to 20 g/day; |
up to 40g on any one occasion
|up to 20 g/day; |
up to 40g on any one occasion
|10||No more than 2 standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm; no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion
For children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.
In some situations, not drinking is the safest option; this includes: when taking part in recreational or occupational activities that require a high level of attention, psychomotor skills, and concentration (e.g., driving, water activities, operating heavy machinery, etc.) when supervising others who are taking part in such activities; when supervising children.
Specific population groups can be at increased risk if they drink alcohol; these include: young adults aged 18 to 25 years; older people aged over 60 years; people with family history of alcohol dependence; people who use drugs illicitly.
A range of people may need to seek professional advice about drinking because of the possibility of interactions and harmful effects; they include: anyone taking medication; people with alcohol-related or other physical conditions that can be made worse or affected by alcohol; people with mental health conditions.
|Austria||Federal Ministry of Health and Women |
Factsheet: Dialogue week on alcohol (2017)
|up to 24 g/day||up to 16 g/day||[none]||Low-risk drinking also includes abstaining in certain situations, such as during pregnancy, work, and driving, and when taking certain medications.
Problematic consumption (significantly increased health risk and risks for third parties, such as increased accident risk or involvement in situations of violence): from 60 g/day in men and from 40 g/day in women.
|Belgium||Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Themes: Alcohol (2016)||21 drinks per week||14 drinks per week||-||See also Superior Council of Health (SCH), Opinion 9438 Risks of alcohol consumption (May 2018)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Institute for Public Health, |
Guide on nutrition for the adult population (2004)
|up to 20 g/day||up to 10 g/day||10||Drinking immoderate amounts of alcohol has harmful effects on health.
Men should drink no more than two drinks or 20 g of pure alcohol a day, while women can drink only one drink, and 10 g of pure alcohol. Pregnant women should refrain from drinking alcohol!
|Bulgaria||Ministry of Health, |
Guidelines for healthy eating
|up to 16 g/day||up to 8 g/day||8 |
a small glass of wine or one glass of beer or 25 ml of spirits
|Recommendations are for ages 18-65. Students ages 7 to 19: Do not consume alcohol.
Moderate consumption is up to 20mL or 16g of pure ethanol per day, equivalent to a glass of wine, a beer, or 50mL spirit. Due to metabolic differences, for women moderate consumption is about half of these amounts.
|Canada||Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, |
Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
|15 drinks a week, with no more than 3 drinks a day |
No more than 4 drinks on any single occasion
|10 drinks a week, with no more than 2 drinks a day |
No more than 3 drinks on any single occasion
|13.5||These recommendations equate to up to 207 g/week or 41.4 g/day for men and 138 g/week or 27.6 g/day for women.
A standard drink is 341 ml 5% alcohol beer, cider or cooler; 142 ml 12% alcohol wine; 43 ml 40% distilled alcohol.
Teens should speak with their parents about drinking. If they choose to drink, they should do so under parental guidance; never more than 1–2 drinks at a time, and never more than 1–2 times per week. They should plan ahead, follow local alcohol laws and consider the Safer drinking tips listed.
|Chile||National Service for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Drug and Alcohol Use (SENDA) Watch your limits webpage||14 g/day||14 g/day||14||Risky drinking: binge drinking, and any drinking in certain situations (for children, pregnant women or drivers).
Binge drinking: more than 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women on the same day.
|China||National Health and Family Planning Commission, Chinese Dietary Guidelines (2016)||25 g/day||15 g/day||[none]||Children and adolescents, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those who drive or operate machinery, are allergic to alcohol or suffer from certain diseases, are recommended not to drink alcohol at all.|
|Croatia||Ministry of Health, |
Dietary guidelines for adults (2002)
|20 g/day||10 g/day||10||A 2015 leaflet by Croatian National Institute of Public Health does not recommend specific limits as low-risk or moderate drinking, although it explains a standard drink contains 10 g of ethanol.
Moderate drinking is one to two drinks a day, not more than 20 g of pure alcohol for men and 10 g for women.
|Czechia||National Institute of Public Health, |
Overview of national guidelines for moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages: low-risk doses of ethanol (December 2015)
|up to 24 g/day; |
not to exceed 40 g on any one occasion
|up to 16 g/day; |
not to exceed 40 g on any one occasion
|10||Two days without alcohol per week are recommended.
Keep in mind that in some situations even a single drink might be risky (for example when driving).
|Denmark||National Board of Health, |
Official Dietary Guidelines (2015)
|low risk up to 168 g/week||low risk up to 84 g/week||12||Do not exceed 5 drinks (60g) on one occasion.
High risk consumption: from 252 g/week for men and 168 g/week for women.
No alcohol is safe for your health. Do not drink alcohol for the sake of your health.
If you are elderly, be especially careful with alcohol.
Children and young people under 16 should not drink alcohol. Young people between 16 and 18 years should drink as little as possible and stop before 5 drinks on the same occasion.
|Estonia||Health Development Institute, |
Alkoinfo.ee webpage (2018)
|up to 40 g/day; |
up to 160 g/week
|up to 20 g/day; |
up to 80 g/week
|10||Each week, there should be at least three full days free of alcohol.
There is no completely safe amount of alcohol. For example, cancer risk begins to increase at very low consumption. However, there is a low-risk range. Low-risk limit does not mean that it would be desirable to drink so much!
You should not drink alcohol at all if you are pregnant, breast-feeding a child, or planning to become pregnant; you have a certain diseases or are using certain medications (consult your doctor); you tried to control your drinking but it did not work; you are addicted to alcohol; you are driving a vehicle; you are going swimming.
|Fiji||Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Alcohol: Healthy you (2015) |
National Food and Nutrition Center, Food and Health Guidelines for Fiji (2013)
|30 g/day or 150 g/week or 50 g on any single occasion |
60 g/day or 210 g/week, with no more than 20g in the first hour and 10 g/hour after that
|20 g/day or 100 g/week or 40 g on any single occasion |
40 g/day or 140 g/week, with no more than 10 g/hour
|10||At least two days without alcohol per week are recommended. You should not drink any alcohol when: pregnant or planning to become pregnant; on medication that interacts with alcohol; when you have a condition made worse by alcohol; you feel unwell, depressed, tired or cold; you are about to operate machinery or a vehicle or do anything that is risky or requires skill.
|Finland||National Institute for Health and Welfare, |
Factsheet: Alcohol health risks for healthy adults (2016)
|20 g/day||10 g/day||12||The levels in the columns to the left are associated with "no likely risk".
Moderate risk: Men: Prolonged consumption of more than more than 168 g/week, Women: Prolonged consumption of more than 84 g/week.
High risk: Men: above 40 g/day or 276-278 g/week, Women: above 20 g/day 144-192 g/week.
Avoid binge drinking (5-6 drinks at once, Finnish Nutrition Recommendations)
For young people any level of alcohol consumption increases the risk of harm. The initiation of alcohol use should be postponed as long as possible.
The risks associated with alcohol use among the elderly occur at lower consumption levels than among other adults.
|France||Alcool-info-service (May 2017), based on Public Health France and National Cancer Institute, Expert opinion (May 2017) commissioned by the Interministerial Mission for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviors (MILDECA) and the Ministry of Health Directorate General of Health (DGS).||up to 20 g/day or 100 g/week||up to 20 g/day or 100 g/week||10||There is no alcohol consumption without risk, but only low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk consumption. Knowing these different levels helps each person to make their decision. What is known is that the health risks related to alcohol consumption over the lifetime increase with the quantity consumed... There isn't a clear level of consumption that allows one to definitively health risks over their lifetime. Nonetheless, experts of Public Health France and the National Cancer Institute attempted to define acceptable risks and proposed a single value for both sexes, expressed in standard drinks.
Some days without alcohol each week are recommended, and on each occasion: reduce the total quantity consumed; drink slowly while eating and alternate with drinking water; avoid risky places and activities; ensure you are surrounded by people you trust and can return home safely.
In the following situations, it is safest not to drink alcohol at all: During childhood, adolescence, and while growing; If driving a vehicle; If practicing risky sports; If taking certain medications;
In case of certain diseases.
|Georgia||Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs |
Healthy eating – the main key to health 2005
|20 g/day||10 g/day||10|
|Germany||Federal Center for Health Education, Know Your Limit |
Center for Addiction Issues,
Factsheet: Alcohol and Health Risks (2014)
|up to 24 g/day||up to 12 g/day||[none]||Federal Center for Health Education: At least two days of abstinence from alcohol a week are recommended.
German Centre for Addiction Issues: Different consumer classes have been defined in recent years to assess the individual risks. However, there is no completely risk-free alcohol consumption level. A couple of days without alcohol per week are recommended to avoid drinking becoming a habit.
Low-risk consumption: Men: up to 24 g/day, Women: up to 12 g/day
Risky consumption: Men: above 20 to 60 g/day, Women: above 12 to 40 g/day
Dangerous consumption: Men: above 60 to 120 g/day, Women: above 40 to 80 g/day
Over (High)-consumption: Men: above 120 g/day, Women: above 80 g/day.
|Grenada||Government of Grenada, |
Food-based Dietary Guidelines (2006)
|up to 14 g/day and never 98 g or more at once||up to 14 g/day and never 98 g or more at once||14||Alcohol taken in moderation is defined as one drink a day such as: 5 oz of wine, or 12 oz beer, or 10 oz of wine cooler, or 1.5 oz of distilled liquor (rum, vodka, whiskey etc.)
Taking 7 drinks all at once, in one day would not be considered moderation.
Using wine, beer and other spirits sparingly will lower your risk of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, accidents, violence, obesity, fatty liver.
|Guyana||Ministry of Health |
Food-based dietary guidelines for Guyana (2004)
|up to 8 g/day||up to 8 g/day||8||It is advisable not to drink alcohol, but for those who do, not more than one drink per day is recommended.|
|Hungary||Public Health Programme for a Healthy Nation |
Dietary Guidelines to the Adult Population in Hungary (2004)
|2 drinks per day||1 drink per day||[none]||1 unit of alcohol: 2-3 dl beer, or 1-1.5 dl wine, or 2 cl of spirits.
It is wise to drink alcoholic beverages at the time of meals, because alcohol will be then absorbed more slowly.
|India||National Drug Dependence Treatment Center, Alcohol web India: Useful tips for lower-risk drinking (2016)||16 g/day||8 g/day||8||There are no guidelines which suggest that drinking up to a certain level is associated with zero risk. Any amount of alcohol can be harmful, in more ways than one! However, it has been found that drinking more than two drinks a day is associated with much higher risk of adverse consequences.
Stay alcohol free at least 2 days in the week. Remember not to drink: When driving or using heavy machinery; When pregnant or trying to become pregnant; When breastfeeding; When taking certain medications (check the information leaflet); If you have certain medical conditions like liver disease (consult your doctor); If you cannot stop or control your drinking; If you already have some health or social problems related to alcohol drinking
Source: WHO Manual for use in primary care: Brief Intervention for Hazardous and Harmful Drinking
|Ireland||Health Service Executive, |
Health Promotion Unit webpage
Ask About Alcohol webpage
|up to 170 g/week||up to 110 g/week||10||At least two alcohol-free days are recommended.
Increased risk drinking is defined as 180-400 g/week for men and 120-280 g/week for women, with effects of less energy, depression/stress, insomnia, impotence, risk of injury, high blood pressure.
High risk drinking is defined as 410+ g/week for men and 290+ g/week for women, with effects as above and in addition memory loss, risk of liver disease, risk of cancer, risk of alcohol dependence.
|Italy||National Center for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Alcohol: Do you know your drinks? The more you know, the lower the risk (2016) |
Ministry of Health, Alcohol
|up to 24 g/day if aged 21-65 |
up to 12 g/day if aged 18-21 or above 65
|up to 12 g/day||12||The law prohibits the sale and supply of alcoholic beverages to those under the age of 18. There are situations where complete abstention from alcohol consumption is recommended: If taking medication, suffering from an acute or chronic disease, are addicted to alcohol or other substances, fasting or between meals, while on the job, or if you must drive a vehicle or operate machinery, if planning to become pregnant, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming 72 g or more within 2-3 hours.
|Japan||Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare |
Drinking guidelines (2018)
|20 g/day; 10 g/day if aged 65 or above||10 g/day||10||Refrain from drinking alcohol on 2 days per week.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol at once in order to avoid increased risk of accidents, injury, or progressing to dependence.
It is recommended that those who have a flushing reaction after drinking alcohol refrain from drinking, because this condition indicates slow alcohol decomposition and an increased risk of cancer from drinking.
Avoid drinking before swimming or exercising and when taking medications.
Do not drink alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it may inhibit the development of the fetus and cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol also enters breastfeeding breast milk and inhibits infant development.
|Kazakhstan||Ministry of Health and National Centre for Problems of Healthy Lifestyle Development, |
Alcohol: Assess the situation and make a choice! (2016)
|70-80 g/week||70-80 g/week||12 |
330 mL beer, 120 mL wine, 40 mL spirit
|If you drink at least six doses per week, reflect on the situation and reduce your intake or cease consumption.|
|Korea, Republic of||Korea Health Promotion Foundation, |
Low-risk Drinking Guidelines 2013
Drinking and health webpage (2018)
|40 g/day||20 g/day||8||Minors below 19 should not drink alcohol at all.
People who suffer from serious physical and mental illness should not drink alcohol. Do not drink alcohol when you exercise. Do not drink alcohol if driving or operating machinery.
You should not drink if your face turns red from a little alcohol (facial flushing).
|Luxembourg||Ministry of Health, |
Alcohol and dependency webpage (2018)
Youth aged 16 to 18: at most 10 g/week
|10 g/day; |
Youth aged 16 to 18: at most 10 g/week
|10||Youth aged 18 to 20: reduced consumption from the recommendations for adults, as the brain is still developing.
In order to avoid developing a habit, it is recommended not to drink on 2 or 3 days of the week.
|Macedonia||Ministry of Health |
Nutrition Guidelines for the Population of Macedonia (2014)
|28.8 g/day||14.4 g/day||14.2||Minors and women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should avoid alcohol altogether.|
|Malta||Agency against Drug and Alcohol Abuse |
It's not the drinking.. It's how we’re drinking
|18-21 years old: up to 16 g per occasion maximum twice a week |
over 21 years old: up to 168 g/week spread over at least five days; not more than 32 g on any one occasion
|18-21 years old: up to 16 g per occasion maximum twice a week |
over 21 years old: up to 112 g/week spread over at least five days; not more than 32 g on any one occasion
|8||Abstaining from alcohol for some days is always beneficial.
There are situations where a person should not drink alcohol since even the smallest amount can be harmful: Pregnant women, women who believe they may be pregnant or women who may be trying to become pregnant; Before driving or operating machinery.
|Mauritius||Ministry of Health, |
Dietary guidelines for the prevention of NCDs
|2 drinks per day||1 drink per day||8 |
300 mL beer, 75 mL wine, or 25 mL spirit
|If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and try not to drink every day of the week.|
|Mexico||Ministry of Health, Dietary and physical activity guidelines (2015) |
National Council Against Addictions (CONADIC), Frequently Asked Questions about Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
See also NOM-047-SSA2-2015 Health care for the age cohort 10 to 19 years old. Appendix D for guidance to primary care providers on parameters for determining low-risk consumption in healthy adults.
|Dietary and physical activity guidelines (2015): 13-26 g/day |
CONADIC: 26 g/day; 13 g/day if elderly
|Dietary and physical activity guidelines (2015): 13 g/day |
CONADIC: 13 g/day
|13||Dietary and physical activity guidelines (2015): Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not recommended; if they are consumed, they should be limited to no more than one drink per day and only by adults. … when alcoholic beverages are consumed in excess (more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men), they have effects harmful for health …
CONADIC: Certain people should not drink alcohol at all: minors under 21 years old, people who will be driving or using machinery, people with illnesses that may be aggravated by alcohol, people taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
|Namibia||Ministry of Health and Social Services, |
Nutrition Guidelines for Prevention and Management of NCDs (2013)
|up to 20 g/day||up to 10 g/day||10||Alcohol to be avoided in case of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, peptic ulcers, and food allergies.|
|Netherlands||Nutrition Center, |
Guidelines for Healthy Eating 2016
|up to 10 g/day||up to 10 g/day||10||Do not drink alcohol or at least not more than one drink per day.|
|New Zealand||Ministry of Health, Eating and Activity Guidelines 2015|
Health Promotion Agency, Alcohol.org.nz
|up to 30 g/day or 150 g/week, or 50 g on one occasion |
over 64 years old: 30 g/day, or 150g/week, or 50g on one occasion
|up to 20 g/day, or 100 g/week, or 40 g on one occasion |
over 64 years old: 20 g/day, or 100g/week, or 40g on one occasion
|10||Low-risk is not no-risk. Even when drinking within low-risk limits, a range of factors can affect your level of risk, including the rate of drinking, your body type or genetic makeup, your gender, existing health problems and if you are young or an older person. There are times and circumstances when you should not drink alcohol. It's advisable not to drink if you:
are pregnant or planning to get pregnant; are on medication that interacts with alcohol; have a condition made worse by drinking alcohol; feel unwell, depressed, tired or cold as alcohol could make things worse; are about to operate machinery or a vehicle or do anything that is risky or requires skill.
For children and young people under 18 years, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. Those under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking alcohol and not drinking in this age group is especially important.
For young people aged 15 to 17 years, the safest option is to delay drinking for as long as possible. If 15 to 17 year olds do drink alcohol, they should be supervised, drink infrequently and at levels usually below and never exceeding the adult daily limits.
|Norway||Directorate of Health, Norwegian Guidelines on Diet, Nutrition and Physical Activity (2014)||20 g/day||10 g/day||-||Children and youth are advised to avoid alcohol. Based on an overall assessment of the health and social consequences on the use of alcohol the Health Directorate recommends limiting alcohol intake, that you do not drink alcohol for health reasons, avoiding intoxication, and thinking about the situations in which you consume alcohol.|
|Peru||Ministry of Health, |
Encyclopedia for Healthy Peru: Alcoholism (2010)
|At social gatherings, do not consume more than: two beers, two glasses of wine, or two shots of spirit per day||At social gatherings, do not consume more than: one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of spirit per day||10 |
355 mL 4-6%ABV beer, 118 mL 12% ABV wine, 30 mL 40-50% ABV spirit, 30 mL 16-26% ABV mixed drink
|Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. Be informed about the effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Avoid making alcohol an essential part of family and social gatherings. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation, with friends and people you trust. Do not drink alcoholic beverages straight, dilute them with ice, water, soft drinks, or alternate with non-alcoholic beverages. Wine can be beneficial for health, but it is harmful when consumed quickly and in large quantities. Do not drink on an empty stomach, eat something while drinking alcohol. If you are taking medications, do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can intensify the effect of many medicines and can interact with others, making them ineffective or dangerous.|
|Philippines||Food and Nutrition Research Institute, |
Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (2012)
Myths and truths about alcohol (2008)
|24 g/day||12 g/day||12||Nutritional Guidelines (2012): Limit alcohol drinking to one drink per day for women and two drinks for men is also advised. One alcoholic drink is equivalent to one and half ounce distilled beverage such as gin or 12 ounces or a bottle of beer or four ounces wine or half glass wine or an ounce of 100 proof whiskey.
Myths and Truths (2008): Authorities have defined moderation as not more than two drinks a day for the average-sized man, and not more than one drink a day for the average-sized woman. But, still the exact amount of moderate alcohol intake per day cannot be defined because people have different tolerances to alcohol. Thus, the amount a person can drink safely is highly individualized, depending on genetics, health conditions, sex, weight, age, and family history. In addition, the liver can process about half ounce ethanol per hour (the amount in a typical drink), depending on the person's body size, previous drinking experience, food intake, and general health.
Heavy drinking of alcohol: at least 48 to 60 g in a row
Women who drink alcohol during their pregnancy may give birth to children with fetal alcohol syndrome.
|Portugal||Ministry of Health, |
National Program of Integrated Intervention on Lifestyle Determinants of Health (2004)
New Daily Food Choice Food Wheel (2008)
|Consumption without risk: 3 glasses of beer (5%ABV) or 2 small glasses of wine (12%ABV) or 1/3 glass of spirit (40%ABV)||Consumption without risk: 2 glasses of beer (5%ABV) or 1 small glass of wine (12%ABV) or 1/5 glass of spirit (40%ABV)||[none]||Excessive consumption: for men above 24 g/day and for women above 16 g/day|
|Romania||Ministry of Health, |
Healthy Eating Guidelines 2006
|32-40 g/day||15-20 g/day||[none]||Rule 8 (of 9) for healthy eating: Consume alcohol in moderation or not at all. While modest quantities of alcohol are not detrimental to most people and can even have beneficial effects in certain circumstances, regular consumption of excessive amounts carries substantial risks.|
|Serbia||Institute for Mental Health, |
Responsible Drinking Guidelines (2014)
|up to 2 drinks per occasion and 14 drinks/week||up to 1 drink per occasion and 7 drinks/week||13 |
330mL 5% beer, 140mL 12% wine, or 40mL 40% spirit
|1 drink is 330mL 5% beer, 140mL 12% wine, or 40mL 40% spirit
Abstain for at least 2 days per week.
Minors and pregnant women should avoid alcohol altogether.
|Singapore||Health Promotion Board |
Alcohol and health: Set your limits (2016)
Dietary guidelines for older adults (2015)
|20 g/day||10 g/day||10||Individuals with health conditions such as a family history of high blood triglycerides, inflammation of the pancreas, liver disease, certain blood disorders, heart failure and uncontrolled high blood pressure, should not drink. Always run your medication by your doctor and ask specifically if you can drink alcohol while you are taking them. Never ever mix social drugs with alcohol as it is illegal to take drugs in Singapore and, mixing drugs with alcohol has unintended negative effects.
At any one drinking session, drink slowly, sipping the alcoholic drink, alternating it with a non-alcoholic drink and eating some food along with the drink.
Do not drink and drive.
If you are below the age of 18 years, you should not drink alcohol because your body processes it more slowly. So, the negative effects last longer and are stronger than that experienced by an adult.
|Slovenia||Institute of Public Health of Slovenia, |
|up to 20 g/day or 140 g/week or 50 g/drinking occasion; |
men aged 65 and above: up to 10 g/day or 70 g/week or 30 g/drinking occasion
|up to 10 g/day or 70 g/week or 30 g/drinking occasion||10||At least one day per week should be completely alcohol-free.
Minors should not drink alcohol at all.
|South Africa||Department of Public Health, Choose a healthy lifestyle (2015)||2 beers or glasses of wine per day||2 beers or glasses of wine per day||[none]||In moderation, drinking alcohol can be a sociable and fun activity. It can even have the health benefit of helping against heart disease in some cases. Drinking up to two beers or two glasses of wine per day poses little risk to your health. One you drink more than this, alcohol starts affecting your health. And the more you drink, the worse the effect.|
|Spain||Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, |
Healthy Lifestyles: Risky and harmful alcohol consumption (2016)
|up to 40 g/day or 280 g/week||up to 20 g/day or 170 g/week||10||Drinking can always be considered risky in certain circumstances, like: being a minor, driving a vehicle, doing work that requires coordination, concentration and attention, if taking certain medications that may interact with alcohol, if suffering a disease that alcohol could exacerbate.|
|Suriname||Psychiatric Health Center, |
|up to 2 drinks per day or 5 drinks at once||up to 1 drink per day or 5 drinks at once||[none]||Do not drink while exercising, studying, working or driving.|
|Sweden||National Health Board, Tobacco, alcohol, physical activity and eating habits - How the health services can support you to change unhealthy habits (2012)||up to 14 drinks / week, 5 drinks at once||up to 9 drinks / week, 4 drinks at once||12 |
500 mL light beer, 330 mL strong beer, 120-150 mL wine, 40 mL spirit
|National Health Board: Hazardous use of alcohol means either that you have a high average consumption of alcohol (see left) or you drink a lot of alcohol at one occasion at least once a month.|
|Switzerland||Federal Alcohol Commission (EKAL), |
Guidance on alcohol consumption (2018)
|up to 20 g/day |
not to exceed 50 g within a few hours
|up to 10 g/day |
not to exceed 40 g within a few hours
|10||Some alcohol-free days are recommended each week.
Children and adolescents should avoid alcohol altogether.
Pregnant women and women who are planning to become pregnant are advised to abstain from alcohol. Even during breastfeeding, it is recommended to abstain from alcohol altogether.
People who take medications should avoid alcohol as much as possible or should only consume it with restraint. When driving, at work, doing sports and generally in activities that require increased concentration, forego alcohol.
Be more careful with alcohol consumption as you grow older.
|Turkey||Ministry of Health, Turkey dietary guidelines (2016)||-||-||[none]||Alcohol consumption may lead to mainly liver diseases, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer. Excessive consumption of any alcoholic drinks may lead to indirect deficiency of nutrients, especially vitamins. Excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks in the form of plain or mixed may lead to deterioration of the liquid and electrolyte balance in the body from time to time and severe dehydration condition. Children, adolescents, pregnant women, lactating women, drivers, individuals with any health problem, individuals working in the field of operation requiring attention, individuals using drugs showing negative interaction with alcohol should never consume alcohol.|
|Uganda||Ministry of Health, |
Community Health Department: Noncommunicable Diseases (2016)
|-||-||[none]||Join the NDC program and prevent NCDs by doing and supporting the following;
… Avoiding alcohol abuse for example not more than two 330 mLs of standard beer a day for males and one for females.
|United Kingdom||Department of Health, UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines 2016 |
National Health Service, Alcohol Misuse
|up to 112 g/week||up to 112 g/week||8||This applies to adults who drink regularly or frequently i.e. most weeks. The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women is that:
• To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
• If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risks of death from long term illness and from accidents and injuries.
• The risk of developing a range of health problems (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases the more you drink on a regular basis.
• If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.
This applies to drinking on any single occasion (not regular drinking, which is covered by the
weekly guideline). The Chief Medical Officers’ advice for men and women who wish to keep their short term health risks from single occasion drinking episodes to a low level is to reduce
them by: limiting the total amount of alcohol you drink on any single occasion, drinking more slowly, drinking with food, and alternating with water, and planning ahead to avoid problems e.g. by making sure you can get home safely or that you have people you trust with you.
The sorts of things that are more likely to happen if you do not understand and judge
correctly the risks of drinking too much on a single occasion can include: accidents resulting in injury, causing death in some cases, misjudging risky situations, and losing self-control (e.g. engaging in unprotected sex). The risks of injury to a person who has been drinking recently have been found to rise between two and five times when 5-7 units (40-56 g) are drunk in a 3-6 hour period.
Some groups of people are more likely to be affected by alcohol and should be more careful of their level of drinking on any one occasion for example those at risk of falls, those on medication that may interact with alcohol or where it may exacerbate pre-existing physical and mental health problems.
If you are a regular weekly drinker and you wish to keep both your short- and longterm health risks from drinking low, this single episode drinking advice is also relevant for you.
|United States||Department of Agriculture and Department of Health & Human Services, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 |
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Administration on Aging, Older Americans behavioral health Issue brief 2: Alcohol misuse and abuse prevention 2012
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),
Rethinking Drinking webpage ,
NIAAA Older Adults webpage
|up to 28 g/day |
over 60 years old: up to 12 g/day or 84g/week, never more than 36g at once
up to 56 g/day on any one day, up to 196g/week; if aged over 65: up to 42g on any one day, up to 98g/week
|up to 14 g/day |
over 60 years old: up to 12 g/day or 84g/week, never more than 24g at once
up to 42g on any one day, up to 98g/week
|14||Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020): If alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age. … if alcohol is consumed, the calories from alcohol should be accounted for so that the limits on calories for other uses and total calories are not exceeded...
High-risk drinking: 56g or more on any day or 112g/week or more for women and 70g or more on any day or 210g/week or more for men. Binge drinking: consumption within about 2 hours of 56g or more for women and 70g or more for men.
Excessive alcohol consumption: includes binge drinking, heavy drinking (112g/week or more for women and 210g/week or more for men), and any drinking by pregnant women or those under 21 years of age
Many individuals should not consume alcohol, including individuals who are taking certain over-the-counter or prescription medications or who have certain medical conditions, those who are recovering from alcoholism or are unable to control the amount they drink, and anyone younger than age 21 years. Individuals should not drink if they are driving, planning to drive, or are participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness.
NIAAA: These guidelines are specifically for low risk of developing alcohol use disorders.
If you have a health problem or take certain medications, you may need to drink less or not at all.
|Uruguay||Ministry of Health, Food Guide for the Uruguayan Population (2016)||up to 40 g/day or 140 g/week||up to 30 g/day or 70 g/week||10||We recommend that if you drink alcohol, it is important to do so in a responsible manner. Drinking is never completely safe, but if you decide to do it, try to reduce risks as much as possible. To do so you can calculate your units and keep in mind the limits.
Do not exceed these limits. If you are accustomed to drinking, avoid alcohol for at least two days each week.
Children and pregnant women should not drink alcohol.
|Vietnam||National Institute of Nutrition, |
10 tips on proper nutrition for period 2013–2020 (2013)
|20 g/day||10 g/day||10||To stay healthy and avoid illness, you should limit your intake of alcohol.|