New UK government guidelines published on Friday recommend that people should drink less beer or standard glasses of wine a week.

The recommendation, which were criticized by some as "nanny state" scaremongering, is based on the notion that any level of alcohol consumption increases cancer risks.

Previous guidelines issued in 1995 recommend alcohol intake of 21 units for men and 14 for women. A pint of beer containing 4 percent alcohol or a medium-sized glass of wine has 2.3 units.

The UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO) said that people should not exceed drinking 14 units of alcohol a week, which is equivalent to seven glasses of wine or six pints of beer.

The new guidance came with publication of findings that highlight the association between alcohol consumption and increased cancer risk. It aims to reduce risk of illness and lower deaths linked to drinking by setting a level that would keep deaths from cancer and other diseases low.

Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said that while regular consumption of any level of alcohol carries health risks for anyone, limiting alcohol intake to no more than 14 units per week can keep risks of illnesses low.

The guidance aims to provide the public with up-to-date scientific information so they can make informed decision about their alcohol consumption and the risk level they are willing to take.

It likewise advised pregnant women not to drink at all as a precautionary measure and veers away from the long-held belief that small amounts of alcohol are good. The review has found that alcohol benefits on heart health only apply to women who are at least 55 years old.

"Any amount of drinking is associated with increased risk of a number of diseases; the often-reported protective effects will not apply to the majority of people and where they do apply, they refer to very low levels of drinking," said Matt Field, from the University of Liverpool. "So, any amount of alcohol consumption carries some risk."

Effects Of Excessive Drinking

While many are not amenable with the maximum amount of alcohol recommended by the newly released guidance, drinking too much alcohol undeniably comes with potentially deadly risks.

Alcohol is responsible for 1.2 million hospital admissions in Britain in 2012. Driving under the influence of alcohol can lead to deadly car crashes. Drinking alcohol is also a risk factor for mouth and throat cancer.

"The risk of getting cancer increases the more alcohol a person drinks," said Mark Petticrew, from the London School of Hygiene, who was part of the committee that looked into the subject. "We found that between 4 and 6 percent of all new cancers in the UK in 2013 were caused by alcohol consumption."

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.