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Local, provincial experts not toasting latest alcohol guidelines

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Advocates in the restaurant and beverage industry embrace Health Canada’s latest recommendation to limit alcohol consumption to two salty drinks per week.

The Canadian Center for Drug Use and Addiction (CCSA) recommends no more than two drinks per week, according to the latest research on alcohol-related risks.

The guidance replaces Canada’s 2011 Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines, which previously recommended up to 15 drinks per week for men and 10 drinks per week for women.

Tony Ellenis, president of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association, said there were many uncertainties about how this would affect the state’s restaurant industry.

“It’s too early to understand the impact at this point,” says Ellenis, who used to work for Souste. Marie’s hospitality industry. “The bottom line is that the new drinkers have changed. Young people today don’t drink as much. It’s a trend and it will continue.”

“Some are arguing about the accuracy of the message. I have never seen anything like this in any other jurisdiction around the world. It takes time to understand and digest it. “

The CCSA states that drinking two drinks a week increases alcohol-related health risks with each additional drink.

  • 0 drinks a week — Not drinking has many benefits, including better health and better sleep.
  • No more than two drinks per week — At this level, you can avoid alcohol-related effects on yourself and others.
  • Three to six standard drinks per week — this level increases your risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.
  • 7 or more standard drinks per week — this level significantly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

That’s a steep drop compared to the 2011 recommendations, but SooToday’s wine columnist Vin Greco points out that there are other studies that contradict CCSA’s guidelines.

“Drinking wine has many health benefits, and there are studies suggesting that drinking wine in moderation can reduce the chance of stroke,” he says. I spoke with a friend and he thought the recent research was questionable.”

“I can imagine that some countries, such as France, Italy and Spain, would ridicule our guidelines.”

Greco doesn’t think the true impact of the latest recommendations will be known anytime soon, but he expects some potential changes to be made eventually.

“It will be interesting to see how this report affects how the LCBO operates,” he says. “We anticipate price increases. It will be interesting to see how they fare and if there is a decline in what they offer.”

“What happens on the supply side of things can affect our drinking.”

“What are they going to do with alcohol the same way they did with cigarettes, which have been taxed to offset medical costs?”

Meanwhile, Dustin Grondin, owner of Root River Golf Course & Restaurant, said the new guidelines fall short of the height of his concerns for 2023.

“I’ve never really lost sleep from it,” he says. “Restaurants face much worse than governments dictating what is healthy for us and what is not. I know, but none of them are dying.”

“People do what they want. A serious problem for both restaurants and consumers is the lack of skilled employees, the crash in food prices and the lack of additional income to go out and eat.”

“These things bother restaurants more than the government tells someone how much alcohol is good or not.”

For more information on CCSA’s latest guidance on alcohol, please visit: here.

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