UK drinking 'above European average'

18 February, 2011

A report by the World Health Organisation says that one in 15 men in the UK is an alcoholic.

The report also tracks an increase in liver cirrhosis in the UK between 2000 and 2005, but adds that on the whole alcohol consumption in the UK is stable, rather than on the increase.

Per capita alcohol consumption stands at 13.4 litres a year, compared to the European average of 12.2 litres.

The WHO calculates that beer accounts for 43% of alcohol consumed in the UK, followed by wine (30%) and spirits (21%).

The report warns: “Alcohol consumption is the world’s third largest risk factor for disease and disability; in middle-income countries, it is the greatest risk.

“Alcohol is a causal factor in 60 types of diseases and injuries and a component cause in 200 others. Almost 4% of all deaths worldwide are attributed to alcohol, greater than deaths caused by HIV/Aids, violence or tuberculosis. Alcohol is also associated with many serious social issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse, and absenteeism in the workplace.”




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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