By Amelia Ball

As the industry awaits the revised drinking guidelines that are due for release next month, focus is mounting on the proposals involved that would see a significant drop in what is deemed both risky and appropriate for daily consumption.

Pre-empting the approval process, details have been released regarding the proposal to redefine what constitutes as ‘binge drinking’ to four drinks per session.

The daily standard drink guidelines are also proposed at two drinks per day for both men and women, which is also a significant drop from the existing guidelines.

Industry concerns include that if new guidelines are deemed unrealistic by the public, they will be disregarded completely and become redundant. They have reportedly been based on an average weight of 60kg for both men and women, which is well under the average Australian weight for both genders at 82kg and 62kg respectively.

While the regular five-yearly review has been under consideration since late last year, it has coincided with the focus on the nation’s binge drinking.

Also among the industry’s concerns is that the lowered drinking guidelines could potentially become the ‘de facto’ standard on binge drinking and add further fuel to the liquor debate fire.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) created an expert committee to review the guidelines, as is done every five years, and the results of this process are currently being peer-reviewed by international research experts.

This will be put before the NHMRC, which has final sign-off on the document, and due to be released next month.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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