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Population-level Risks of Alcohol Consumption by Amount, Geography, Age, Sex, and Year: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2020

The analysis—part of the wider Global Burden of Disease study—was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and published in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday.

Research found that for young adults between the ages of 15 and 39, there were zero health benefits—only risks—associated with drinking alcohol.

Globally, almost 60% of people who consumed unsafe amounts of alcohol in 2020 fell into this age bracket, according to the findings.

Researchers said that for people aged between 15 and 39, the recommended amount of alcohol that could be consumed before risking their health was “a little more than one-tenth of a standard drink.” They defined a standard drink as 3.4 fluid ounces of red wine or 12 fluid ounces of beer.

By this definition, the study’s findings suggested that alcohol stops being “safe” to consume for under-40s after around two teaspoons of red wine or two and a half tablespoons of beer.

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