DISCUS

STUDY HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION ON ALCOHOL EQUIVALENCE AND STANDARD DRINKS

October 16, 2006 08:00 PM

Washington, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today pointed to the conclusions of a study by the University of Maryland’s Center for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Policy (CFNAP), that called for more education to explain the definition of a standard drink.  The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans define a drink as 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of regular beer.

The study, funded by the National Beer Wholesalers Association Foundation, and presented at an Oct. 10 forum in Washington, D.C. entitled, “Beer: To Your Health!” was conducted to assess consumers’ perceptions about differences in beverage alcohol, moderation and health. 

According to the study’s main conclusions, the “data suggest that consumers do not understand alcohol equivalence given their disparate views on the healthfulness of different types of beverage alcohol (wine v. beer v. distilled spirits)” and “there are opportunities to help consumers understand the meaning of a standard drink.”

“We agree with those conclusions,” said Dr. Monica Gourovitch, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President for the Office of Scientific Affairs.  “Understanding that alcohol is alcohol is an important part of responsible drinking.  As the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans make clear, it’s not the type of drink you consume, but how much alcohol you consume that is important.”

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