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New guidelines won't change booze consumption, say North Shore readers

Scientists say more than two drinks a week puts people at greater risk for health problems, including cancer
The latest Canadian guidelines recommend no more than two drinks per week to keep health risks low. | Getty Images

Whether they usually have two drinks every two months or two drinks over dinner most evenings, most North Shore readers say Canada's latest guidelines on low-risk alcohol consumption won't change their behaviour.

This month, Canadian guidelines on alcohol consumption were changed to define "low-risk" drinking as no more than two drinks a week.

That’s a significant change from the last set of guidelines, which came out a decade ago, and recommended a daily limit of three drinks for men and two drinks for women and a maximum weekly limit of 10 drinks for women and 15 drinks for men to be considered “low risk.”

The change to the guidelines came after a recent review of scientific studies indicated a much lower level of alcohol consumption can have serious health impacts.

One of the more alarming findings of recent research is alcohol is a “clear carcinogen,” causing an estimated 7,000 cases of cancer a year in Canada.

But despite that information, most local readers on the North Shore who drink say the guidelines are unlikely to change their habits when it comes to booze, with 52 per cent or readers indicating their drinking isn't going to change. About 20 per cent of local readers who responded they do intend to cut down. Three per cent said they plan to quit drinking entirely while over 24 per cent of those responding said they don't drink, period.

North Shore News polled 1,359 North Shore News readers and asked the question: Will Canada's new guidelines on low-risk drinking change your alcohol consumption?

The poll ran from Jan. 20 to Jan. 30 on our news site. Of the 1359 votes, we can determine that 455 are from within the community. The full results are as follows:

Yes. I plan to quit drinking. 3.08% local, 2.87% total    
Yes. I plan to cut down on my booze. 20.44% local, 20.82% total    
No. I don't plan on changing my consumption. 52.09% local, 51.73% total    
No. I don't drink alcohol. 24.40% local, 24.58% total    
  Local   Total

Results are based on an online study of adult North Shore News readers who are located in North and West Vancouver. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 2.65%, 19 times out of 20.

North Shore News uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.