Alcohol harm is not understood by most

The study by the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research found fewer than 5% could identify the low-risk drinking guidelines advised by the NHMRC.

However 21% of men and 15% of women estimated, in accordance with the guidance, that drinking should be limited to two standard drinks daily to avoid long-term alcohol-related harms. 

Fewer could accurately estimate the limit of four standard drinks per individual drinking session to avoid risk of a short-term injury.

“It is clear that most Australians are not aware of the recommendations in the 2009 guidelines,” said lead author Michael Livingston.

“For these guidelines to contribute in any major way to reducing the harm from alcohol, a coordinated and substantial dissemination campaign is required.”

An accompanying editorial said evidence showing that low-risk drinking guidelines prompted changes in drinking behaviour remained “scant”.