Researchers push for new labels on alcohol products warning dangers of consumption

ATLANTA — A glass of wine with dinner or a beer after work may seem harmless but researchers fear more people are ignoring the dangers of consuming alcohol.

Anna Grumman, Ph.D. with the Harvard School of Public Health says alcohol consumption now accounts for about 140,000 deaths every year in the U.S. That’s according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers are now pushing for stricter, stronger warning labels with more prominent placement, even images.

“We have increasing research showing that most Americans are not aware of some of the most serious harms of alcohol consumption,” Grumman said.

That includes cirrhosis of the liver and cancer.


Grumman recently co-wrote an article in The New England Journal of Medicine, calling for stronger warning labels on alcohol.

Right now, alcoholic beverages only contain a short blurb stating the danger to pregnant women and from operating heavy machinery.

“We have a large body of evidence from other domains like tobacco control, that when we move away from text-only warnings that are small and on the back of the package, to warnings with better designs that are large and have pictures, that really boosts their efficiency,” said Dr. Michael Curry with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

If you are considering making a change to your drinking habits, the CDC has a free tool.

It’s a quick survey that gives you a game plan to dial back your drinking — or quit altogether.


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