Alcohol Use Disorders (150) Limiting alcohol use can reduce cancer deaths in the U.S. (2) DrinkAware has changed their advice to heavy drinkers (3)

25 March, 2024

Dear Joel and all,

Thank you for your recent message. [ ]

The paper notes that 'Adults can check their alcohol use and make a personalized plan to drink less by using CDC's website'

It is especially important that online drinking checks provide clear, accurate information.

We have previously exchanged concerns about the information provided by the DrinkAware drinking check.

I have been testing various drinking check tools. At some point between 4 March and 10 March, it appears that DrinkAware changed the advice on their website. However, the new advice still contains important misinformation.

In response to my test as a 63-year-old man who drinks 3 pints of beer a day, I am told:

"You are on the right track

You are at lower risk of alcohol-related problems

This means you are at lower risk of serious diseases such as stroke, heart and liver disease, and seven types of cancer and may already be noticing the benefits of lower risk drinking such as deeper sleep, more energy and brighter moods. To keep your health risks low, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ advice is to drink no more than 14 units a week. If you are regularly drinking above 14 units per week there are tips and advice below about how to cut down."

A person who drinks three pints of beer a day cannot be described as being 'at lower risk of serious diseases such as stroke, heart and liver disease, and seven types of cancer' Such a person is at *higher* risk of such diseases than a person who drinks less than this, or none at all.

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: