Australians told four beers are too many
( dpa ) - Australians, to whom heavy drinking is right up there with sport as a celebrated national characteristic, were told Monday that four glasses of beer amounts to binge drinking.
The National Health and Medical Research Council's new guidelines are that anything more than three glasses of wine or four glasses of beer a day is excessive.
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre spokesman Paul Dillon said that a definition that instantly turned hundreds of thousands of people into alcoholics was a danger.
"You have to tread softly when it comes to alcohol because it's most Australians' drug of choice," Dillon said. "Guidelines need to be workable and they need to be accepted by the community. I don't think these will be."
Politicians ran a mile from the new recommendations.
Opposition Liberal Party health spokesman Tony Abbott warned of a "moral panic" over alcohol consumption and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sidestepped the question altogether.
"I think the important thing here is to put the facts into context," he blathered when asked whether four beers were too many. "Let's see where the science unfolds on that."