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Moderation: Who’s Measuring?

….A cynic might suggest that "moderation" is one drink more than the person doing the defining has….


In Canada and the United States, moderation is usually considered one drink a day for women and two for men. For seniors, it’s less. Heart disease studies often identify the optimum amounts as less than six drinks a week (or less than one a day).(1)

Popular wine and beer magazines talk about "moderation". Many begin by describing "the Drink a Day with Meals" research. But by the end of the articles, several of the writers identify "healthy drinking" as 3-6 drinks a day! (2)

To the dismay of other European countries, England raised its definition of moderation in 1995 by 30-50% to 4 drinks a day for men; and 3 for women (3). 



  1. Shaper, A.G., Phillips, A.N., Pocock, S. J., Walker, M. (1987)"Alcohol and ischaemic heart disease in middle aged British men" British Medical Journal 294 (6574) 733-737.
  2. C. Stockley "Evaluating the evidence of wine’s cardio-protection" as noted http:www.winebase.comm.au/aswe/cs001.html.
  3. "Britain increases ‘moderate drinking’ definition by up to 50 percent" December 14, 1995 Wine Trader Business Insider, Vol.5, Issue 144.


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