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Men told to cut daily alcohol allowance -

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Men told to cut daily alcohol allowance

Broadcast: 12/10/2007

Reporter: Michael Turtle

Australia's health and medical research council is now recomending men limit themselves to just two
alcoholic drinks a day, reduced from the previous recommendation of four.

Transcript

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: The latest guidelines on safe drinking contain some sobering news for men.
Australia's Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)is now recommending they limit themselves to
just two alcoholic drink as day, and it used to be four.

MICHAEL TURTLE: On a Friday afternoon, pubs are already starting to fill up ahead of the weekend.
What do the people here consider to be a risky level of drinking?

PUB DWELLER: Three or four's fine. Doesn't have lot of effect. I think that's a safe level.

SECOND PUB DWELLER: Two or three or four's fine. You know, you don't feel much effect at all. When
you get to the fives or sixes, then you start to feel a few.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The new lower recommended safe limit for men goes from four standard drinks as day
to two. The limit for women stays at two.

PROF JOHN CURIE, NHMRC: If people want to drink above them [the limits], what they need to realise
is that they're increasing their risk and they need to be aware that there are increased risks
above this level.

MICHAEL TURTLE: For children under 15, it's now recommended that they don't drink at all. The
changes would bring Australia into line with many other countries.

GOEFF MUNRO, AUSTRALIAN DRUG FOUNDATION: If people stick to the guidelines, we'll see fewer alcohol
problems, we'll see fewer hospital beds occupied by people due to drinking, we'll see a safer
community with less violence, less drink driving.

MICHAEL TURTLE: One of the most controversial decisions, though, will be the recommendation that
pregnant women drink no alcohol at all. Currently the guidelines say up to seven drinks as week is
OK.

PROF JOHN CURIE: No matter what you come down to, even very low levels of drinking, there is still
evidence suggesting this is not quite safe. This may have problems.

COLLEEN O'LEARY, CHILD HEALTH RESEARCHER: Heavier levels of alcohol consumed by the mother during
pregnancy do place the baby at risk of harm, however the evidence surrounding low to moderate
levels of alcohol and harm to the baby are not as clear.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The guidelines will now go out for consultation before a final version is agreed
on.

Michael Turtle, Lateline.