The world’s heaviest drinking countries have been revealed – and it might surprise you to know where Britain sits in the league.
The figures, compiled by the World Health Organisation, place Britain 13th in a table of 194 member states – with the top ten spots with the highest consumption of alcohol per person made up exclusively by European countries.
League table representing the average amount of pure alcohol consumed by over 15-year-olds per capita in each country between 2008 and 2010:
- Belarus – 17.5 litres
- Republic of Moldova – 16.8 litres
- Lithuania – 15.4 litres
- Russian Federation – 15.1 litres
- Romania – 14.4 litres
- Ukraine – 13.9 litres
- Andorra – 13.8 litres
- Hungary – 13.3 litres
- Czech Republic and Slovakia – 13 litres
- Portugal – 12.9 litres
Britons over the age of 15 consumed 11.6 litres of pure alcohol per year – far higher than the global average of 6.2 litres.
However – the report points out that as less than half the world’s population (38.3 per cent) consumes alcohol, this means those who do drink imbibe an average of 17 litres annually.
Australia and Canada also have high levels of alcohol consumption – an average of 12.2 and 10.2 litres a year, with those in the US drinking 9.2 litres.
The figure drops to less than 2.5 litres per person in northern Africa and the Middle East.
Further stats reveal 28 per cent of Britons were classed as having participated in binge drinking in the previous month – compared to an average of 16 per cent globally.
For overall alcohol consumption, Britain was the 25th highest – topping the global average and above Bulgaria and Kazakstan.
Emily Robinson, Deputy Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern told Huffington Post UK via email: “It’s a tragedy for every one of us that the UK is wallowing amongst the worst 25 countries in the world for alcohol intake.
“Because of this lives are being needlessly lost and even more ruined by ill health.
“Sadder still is that the Government knows what needs to be done to turn this bleak picture around, yet it continues to ignore the evidence.
“We have to introduce minimum unit pricing, a targeted policy which we know will save lives and cut crime. We also need the Government to get tough on irresponsible alcohol advertising and its constant availability.”
The report found the harmful use of alcohol lead to 3.3million deaths worldwide in 2012.
As well as dependence, alcohol consumption can lead to increasing the risk of developing diseases including liver cirrhosis and some cancers as well as infectious diseases and violence and injuries.
More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption,” says Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.
“The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.”