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Alcohol Use Increases Worldwide And Is Expected To Rate Of Rise Binge Drinking

Binge Drinking Is On The Rise Worldwide alcohol consumption is on the rise–and so is binge drinking, defined as consuming more than four drinks in one sitting. This could...

Binge Drinking Is On The Rise

Worldwide alcohol consumption is on the rise–and so is binge drinking, defined as consuming more than four drinks in one sitting. This could lead to a spike in health problems, including cancer and heart disease, says Jurgen Rehm, the lead author of the study, conducted by the University of Toronto.

“People around the world are increasingly bending their elbows. Between 1990 and 2017, per capita adult alcohol consumption increased by nearly 0.7 liters (about the same in quarts) to 6.5 liters (6.9 quarts) annually, new research indicates. The number is predicted to reach 7.6 liters (8 quarts) by 2030,” CNN reported after the study came out. “By 2030, then, half of the world’s adults will drink (up from 45% in 1990), while 40% will abstain (down from 46% in 1990), according to the study published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet. Additionally, 23% of adults will binge drink at least once a month, compared with just 18.5% who did so in 1990.”

The study found that alcohol consumption is declining in European countries, but rising in Asia.

“Alcohol use decreased in most European countries between 2010 and 2017. For example, the researchers recorded a 22% yearly per capita decrease in Russia, from 15.8 liters (16.7 quarts) to 12.3 liters (13 quarts), while the United Kingdom registered a 7.4% decrease from 12.3 (13 quarts) to 11.4 liters (12 quarts),” CNN reports.

India saw a 38% increase, from 4.3 to 5.9 liters (4.5 to 6.2 quarts). A 90% increase, from 4.7 to 8.9 liters (5 to 9.4 quarts), was seen in Vietnam, where 2017 per capita levels were higher than in some European nations, such as Italy (7.4 liters or 7.8 quarts) and the former Yugoslavia (7.8 liters or 8.2 quarts).

China, the world’s most populous country, has seen both a large decline in alcohol abstainers and an increase in bingers. In 1990, nearly half of all Chinese adults didn’t drink at all, and only 16 percent binge-drank. But these numbers are rapidly reversing: by 2030, 77% of China’s population will drink alcohol, and 40% will binge drink.

Researchers said the increase in drinking is related to improved economic conditions and relaxed laws in some countries, as well as a shift in religious and cultural values. Since alcohol is a luxury good and not a necessity, people drink more when they make more money. A shift in gender roles and expectations has also led to a higher percentage of female drinkers, the study concluded.

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