Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Addict. 1991 Sep;86(9):1063-73; discussion 1057-61.

Abstaining for foetal health: the fiction that even light drinking is dangerous.

Author information

  • 1Alcohol Research Group, Berkeley, CA 94709.


There is a strong ideological and political movement in the USA to convince pregnant women not to drink any alcohol. An examination of the research literature on the results of drinking during pregnancy does not provide any evidence that light drinking is harmful to the foetus. The chief defects in the research that make conclusions about the effects of 'moderate' or 'light' drinking invalid are the ways in which drinking patterns are categorized: a) usually the categories used are 'average per day', the different effects of binging and light drinking being thus confused; b) often the heaviest drinking category is described as 'two or more drinks a day', sometimes even 'one or more'. Obviously, one cannot tell whether any instances of foetal damage occurring in that group came from women who drank only two drinks each day, which would be light drinking, or from those who drank ten drinks each day since 'ten drinks a day' is part of the category 'two or more'.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk