View Full Version : Global guzzling

05-15-2014, 08:25 PM
Intriguing, from Andrew Sullivan's The Dish:

Global Guzzling (http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/05/15/global-guzzling/) May 15 2014 @ 5:55pm
http://sullydish.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/screen-shot-2014-05-14-at-2-19-23-pm.png?w=1160&h=750 (http://sullydish.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/screen-shot-2014-05-14-at-2-19-23-pm.png)
The average adult drinks 1.64 gallons of pure alcohol each year, according to a new World Health Organization report (pdf (http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112736/1/9789240692763_eng.pdf?ua=1)) covering more than 190 countries. But as Kate Kelland points out (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/12/us-health-alcohol-idUSKBN0DS0QS20140512), that may be understating the case:
Less than half the population – 38.3 percent – drinks, so those who do drink on average 17 liters (4.49 gallons) of pure alcohol a year. “We found that worldwide about 16 percent of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking – often referred to as ‘binge-drinking’ – which is the most harmful to health,” said Shekhar Saxena, director for mental health and substance abuse at WHO.

Globally, Europe consumes the most alcohol per person, with some countries there having particularly high rates of harmful drinking. A study published earlier this year found that a quarter of all Russian men die before they reach their mid-fifties, largely from drinking to excess. Some men in that study reported drinking three or more bottles of vodka a week. WHO said global trend analyses showed that drinking has been stable over the last five years in Europe, Africa and the Americas – but is growing in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

And as The Economist notes (http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/05/daily-chart-8), “when abstainers are excluded, the national averages look extremely different”:
By this measure, it is in Africa, Asia and even the Middle East where actual drinkers quaff the most. In Chad almost nine in ten adults abstain, yet its 780,000 drinkers put away almost 34 liters of alcohol each. On the usual ranking, it would come 115th out of 190 countries. France drinks a lot, but because it has one of the lowest rate of abstainers at just 5 percent, it ranks 113th compared with 20th.http://sullydish.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/20140517_gdc884.png?w=1042&h=1302 (http://sullydish.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/20140517_gdc884.png)

Meanwhile, Ria Misra looks to the future (http://io9.com/which-country-drinks-the-most-1575690433):
Globally, the WHO expects the average to continue to rise, though they’ll be some regional differences here as well. The biggest increase, say researchers, will be found in the Western Pacific region and China. The biggest decrease will most likely be seen in Europe, though even with that decrease, they are still expected to keep the highest average overall.

05-15-2014, 08:59 PM
That figure for Chad has to be BS.........