International Drinking Guidelines

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Alcohol guidelines

How do we know how much alcohol is safe to drink? The answer depends on where you live. Because excessive alcohol can be harmful to health many governments issue guidelines on how much is safe to drink. But a new comparison of guidelines, covering 57 countries from Brazil to Austria and Singapore to Western Samoa, finds there is huge international variation. Published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, Richard de Visser, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Sussex University, is one of its authors.

Russian Alcohol Crackdown
According to WHO each Russian drinks around 15 litres of pure alcohol each year. There are countries that drink more - Moldova, Czech Republic and Hungary top the table - but Russian doctors believe that a third of the population drinks too much. And recent studies have shown that for every ten deaths in working-age men, between four and six are caused by heavy or hazardous drinking. So in recent years the authorities have been introducing various bans and restrictions on the sale and advertising of drinks. But has this worked? The BBC’s Oleg Boldyrev reports from Moscow.

Medical Myth
Is it true that eating lots of sugar gives you gas? Ray Playford is a consultant gastroenterologist at Barts Hospital in the UK.

New plan on killer diseases
Diarrhoea and pneumonia still account for a third of all deaths in children globally, killing far more children than HIV, measles and malaria put together; particularly in South Asia and sub Saharan Africa. To tackle this, the World Health Organisation and Unicef have a new joined up action plan, with the ambitious aim of eliminating all child deaths from diarrhoea and pneumonia by 2035. It has just been launched with a series of papers in the Lancet, outlining the measures that need to be taken. Yael Velleman, senior policy analyst at WaterAid explains how it will work in practice.

(Image: Champagne being poured into a glass, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

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Sun 21 Apr 2013 22:32 GMT