There are no safe levels of alcohol consumption.
So says a major new study.
The study is one of the largest and most detailed ever done on the effects of alcohol.
And the study reaches startling conclusions.
Even drinking occasionally is harmful to your health, the study says.
This tough message comes from the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study.
It is a rolling project based at the University of Washington, in Seattle.
It produces the most comprehensive data on the causes of illness and death in the world.
The study says alcohol led to 2.8 million deaths in 2016.
Alcohol Consumption Has Dire Consequences
And It was the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability in the 15 to 49 age group.
Current alcohol drinking habits pose “dire ramifications for future population health in the absence of policy action today”, says the study.
“Alcohol use contributes to health loss from many causes and exacts its toll across the lifespan, particularly among men.”
Most national guidelines suggest there are health benefits to one or two glasses of wine or beer a day, they say. “Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none.”
The study was done in 195 countries between 1990 to 2016.
Drinking moderately has been condoned for years.
Some studies even suggest drinking a glass of red wine is good for you.
A daily glass of red wine a day is said to be good for the heart.
Drinking alcohol was a big cause of cancer in the over-50s, particularly in women, the study says.
The study says globally drinking habits accounted for 27.1 per cent of cancer deaths in women.
For men over 50 it was 18.9 per cent.
On a world-wide basis one in three people drink – totalling 2. billion.
Drinking is heaviest in Denmark – 95.3 per cent women and 97.1 per cent men.
Pakistan has the fewest male drinkers – 0.8 per cent and Bangladesh the fewest women – 0.3 per cent.