"Each individual can decide what they think that acceptable risk is, but there's no free lunch, or free drink, so to speak", lead author and University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics senior researcher Max Griswold, Ph.D.
Compared to abstinence, imbibing one "standard drink" - 10 grams of alcohol, equivalent to a small beer, glass of wine or shot of spirits - per day, for example, ups the odds of developing at least one of two dozen health problems by about half-a-percent, the researchers reported.
For years, public health officials have said that, while no one should pick up drinking in search of better health, moderate drinking (defined as up to a drink per day for women and up to two per day for men) probably won't hurt anyone who already imbibes, and may even confer some benefits.
Overall, drinking was the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disease in 2016, accounting for just over two percent of deaths in women and almost seven percent in men.
"The safest limit for alcohol is zero". For those older than 50, the leading alcohol-related cause of death was cancer. The highest number of alcohol drinkers is in Denmark (95.3 per cent women and 97.1 per cent men) while the lowest are in Pakistan for men (0.8 per cent) and Bangladesh for women (0.3 per cent). Speaking to the BBC, she said: "One drink a day does represent a small increased health risk, but adjust that to the United Kingdom population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day".
The heaviest drinkers: Countries were the most alcohol is consumed per person. And four more people would be affected if they had one drink a day.
Failing to address the perils of alcohol, the authors of the new paper wrote, countries face dire effects at the population level.
The study found that worldwide about 1 in 3 people drinks alcohol, while 25 percent of those drinkers were women and 39 percent were men.
The report did acknowledge that there was a body of evidence to show that moderate drinking did offer protection against certain diseases, especially cardiovascular ones, but ultimately concluded that the risks of cancers and other illnesses outweighed these benefits.
Their research, described by one peer as "state-of-the-art", found that drinking was responsible for around 2.8 million deaths in 2016.
After observing data on 28 million people worldwide, the researchers determined that considering the risks, there is "no safe level of alcohol".
Officially, Indians are still among the world's lowest consumers of alcohol with more than 60 per cent adults completely abstaining from it, Dr Chaturvedi said, quoting national household surveys.
"The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising, particularly as improved methods and analyses continue to shed light on how much alcohol contributes to global death and disability", he said in a statement. The risk climbed to 37 percent with five drinks.
The highest average amounts of daily drinks for men were in Romania (8.2 units), Portugal and Luxembourg (7.2 units), and Lithuania and Ukraine (7 units).