Should Alcohol Have a Cancer Warning Label?

The Doctors

Have you been drinking more than usual -- especially in the last year as a way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic?

There are new concerns and considerations from health experts about drinking and whether alcohol should come with a warning for possible diseases and health issues -- something that may be the inspiration you need to cut back on your drinking.

The New York Times reports last year the sale and consumption of wine, beer, and liquor surged during the lockdown and has caused health experts to worry that excess drinking could lead to more cases of several types of cancer, including breast and colon.

One study reportedly found that alcohol causes 75,000 new cases of cancer in America each year, and accounted for 1 in 8 cases of breast cancer in women and 1 in 10 cases of colorectal and liver cancers across the county. 

In October, groups like the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the American Public Health Association, and others called on the federal government to include a warning label on alcohol alerting consumers about the possible risk it can have on someone's health -- something the alcohol industry lobbied against.

The NYT reports fewer than half of Americans are even aware of the link between alcohol and cancer and many people still believe the since-debunked idea that moderate alcohol consumption (especially red wine) can benefit heart health, something the American Heart Association dispelled, explaining, "No research has established a cause-and-effect link between drinking alcohol and better heart health.”

The Doctors note the current recommended daily limit for alcohol consumption is just 1 drink for men and women, and the American Cancer Society now says, “There is no safe level of consumption,” in regards to cancer prevention.

Warning labels have not been added to alcohol in America (though the European Union and France are exploring the use of warning labels), but health experts stress people should not drink daily and if you do drink, they note consuming less alcohol is always better than more. Additionally, experts urge those who drink to also exercise and eat a healthy diet, as a way to offset their overall risk for cancer and other diseases. 

Check out these recipes for 3 non-alcoholic drinks that will make you feel like you're enjoying a cocktail!

More: How Binge Drinking Could Age Your Face

More: Rethink Your Relationship with Alcohol with These Small Steps

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