Editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal calls for evidence-informed regulations and policies on alcohol

An editorial written by physicians Ken Flegel, Noni MacDonald, and Paul C. Hebert called “Binge drinking: all too prevalent and hazardous” was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last week and received a fair amount of media attention (see the CBC coverage here and The Globe and Mail coverage here).

While the editorial calls for an overall strategy to address alcohol use in Canada, the authors emphasize the dangers of binge drinking. (Binge drinking for men is defined as five or more drinks in one sitting, for women, it is defined as four or more drinks in one sitting).  Over the past five years, 8.8% of Canadians reported binge drinking with youth ages 15-24 a group of particular concern.

The authors point out a dearth of evidence on policies that help to curb binge drinking, but suggest a few possible avenues to pursue in the meantime, including routine discussions about alcohol by health professionals.

The editorial is available on the Canadian Medical Association web site.

Reference:

Flegel, K., MacDonald, N., Hebert, P.C. (2011). Binge drinking: all too prevalent and hazardous. Canadian Medical Association Journal, Early release, published at http://www.cmaj.ca on January 17, 2011. DOI:10.1503/cmaj.110029.