More Netherlands residents sticking to one glass of alcohol per day

More and more people in the Netherlands do not drink alcohol at all or at most one glass per day, thereby complying with the Health Council guideline on alcohol use. Women and older people are most likely to comply with this guideline, according to the Lifestyle Monitor by Statistics Netherlands in collaboration with public health institute RIVM and the Trimbos Institute.

Last year 41 percent of adults said they do not drink alcohol or limit themselves to one glass a day, compared to 37 percent five years earlier. Two thirds of people aged 75 years or older have no more than one alcoholic drink per day, and over half of women. Among young adults aged 30 or younger, less than a third stick to this guideline.

Adults who drink a maximum of one alcoholic drink a day or less also smoke less and use drugs less, the researchers found. They also noticed that people with a low income are most likely to be moderate with alcohol and those with a high income least. 

People who drink more than one alcoholic drink a day run a greater risk of stroke, colon cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer, according to the Health Council. Moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial for the health, but according to the Health Council, those benefits do not outweigh the disadvantages.

"Every glass of alcohol is a harmful substance for the body," Karin Monshouwer of the Trimbos Institute said to NOS. "It is important that people are aware of that risk, and I think that people underestimate it or do not know it. It is important that more attention is paid to it in education. And then people can choose for themselves whether they want to take the risk or not."

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