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All alcohol consumption impacts health: Belgian health council

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-06-12 14:47
According to the CSS, alcohol consumption not only increases the risk of illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and liver disease, but also increases the risk of accidents and violent behavior.[Photo by Yu Fangping/Asianewsphoto]

Any consumption of alcohol, however moderate, has a negative impact on health, said the Superior Council of Health (CSS) in a research report published on Monday.

Alcohol is the fourth leading cause of death in Belgium among people aged 15 and over.

According to the CSS, alcohol consumption not only increases the risk of illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and liver disease, but also increases the risk of accidents and violent behavior.

Therefore, the CSS considers 10 units of alcohol per week -- one unit equals one glass of 10 centiliters (cl) of wine or one 25-cl glass beer -- a reasonable limit.

In order to manage the health risks of alcohol, the CSS advises authorities to no longer link prevention campaign with alcohol advertising spaces and instead provide independent spaces for prevention.

The CSS wants authorities to take certain measures such as providing free water in the hospitality industry; prohibiting all advertising, promotion and sponsorship related to alcohol; adapting alcoholic beverage labelling with health recommendations; and implementing a diversified price policy with, for example, an increase in taxes and limiting the supply of alcoholic beverages.

According to a 2013 health survey, 82 percent of Belgians aged 15 and over consumed alcohol the previous year. Problematic use has increased in recent years, and the number of hospitalizations for alcohol-related incidents has increased by 13 percent.

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