The weekly recommended alcohol limits for men and women have been lowered by the Department of Health in Ireland. The new advice is that men should not consume more than 17 units of 10g spread over a week (approximately 170g of alcohol), down from 21 units while women should not consume more than 11 units during this time, down from 14.
The Minister for Health announced the change in June when he launched healthy eating guidelines for the general public and healthcare professionals which are designed to complement many of the actions his Government is taking on obesity.
Two booklets were launched ‘Your Guide to Healthy Eating Using the Food Pyramid’ from the Department and the complementary Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI)’s resource for health professionals, ‘Healthy Eating and Active Living for Adults, Teenagers and Children over 5 years – A Food Guide for Health Professionals and Catering Services’.
The Department of Health has included alcohol in the top-shelf of the Food Pyramid, which has foodstuffs that contain approximately 100 calories and need to be restricted to only one serving per day.
Minister Reilly said the guidelines were user-friendly with each shelf of the Food Pyramid given a two-page spread of information and pictorial emphasis, and contained simple messages about everyday food choices.
“While parents should have a guide to children’s appetites and the speed of their growth, these guidelines strongly recommend a concentration on the size of portion of food eaten,” the Minister said.
Prof Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI, added that this was the first time there had been detailed healthy eating advice for health professionals tailored to meet the needs of different age and gender groups in Ireland.