Stable Per Capita Beverage Alcohol Consumption Over Past 30 Years

  • Currently, there is a proposal to modify the U.S. Dietary Guidelines which includes reducing the definition of moderate drinking for men from the current recommendation of up to two drinks per day to no more than one.
  • The committee cited evidence that alcohol consumption in the United States has increased during the past 20 years.
  • However, servings of beverage alcohol per legal drinking age adult (LDA, 21+) have been relatively stable since 1990 and are comparable to the levels of 1960. (The NIAAA data that the Committee cites uses a 14+ Population base for their computations)
  • Despite this stability, the Committee is recommending a 50% reduction in recommended alcohol consumption. If the purpose of using a comparison of the NIAAA data with the population 14+ was to either address underage drinking or binge drinking, the dietary guidelines do not seem the appropriate way to address these challenges.
  • bw166 projects servings across all channels grow between 1% and 2% in 2020. Comparatively, the LDA population will increase by 1.1%. Again, showing stability in overall servings per capita.
  • bw166 sources this information from tax paid shipments into the market on an annual basis since 1960. The volumetric data was converted to standard servings and compared to the LDA population sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.
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