According to a new study released by OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) on Tuesday although developed countries were reported to have a reduced alcohol consumption binge drinking has increased among young people.
OECD has analyzed its 34 component countries and observed that the average annual alcohol consumption has dropped 2.5 percent in the past 20 years, which means 9.1 liters (2.4 gallons) of alcohol per capita. Although the alcohol consumption has declined, it is heavily concentrated and most of it is accounted for by the 20% heavy drinkers of the population. The research says that hazardous and binge drinking are increasing among young people.
According to the “Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use” report nowadays harmful consumption of alcohol is responsible for more deaths than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined. This applies worldwide.
During the 2000s the percentage of children who are 15 and haven’t yet consumed alcohol has dropped from 44% to 30% in the case of boys and in the case of girls it shrank from 50% to 31%. Moreover the proportion of children who have ever been drunk has increased from 30% to 43% among boys and from 26% to 41% in the case of girls.
Binge drinking usually involves consuming five or more drinks on a single occasion once a week. According to OECD regular binge drinking has increased among both men and women in Italy, Germany and Canada over the past two decades. Rates of binge drinking have risen among women in New Zealand and among men in France, whereas in England and Ireland the rates dropped.
The research also concluded that the countries with the highest rates of alcohol consumption meaning 12 liter per capita annually were France, Austria and Estonia. It seems that in France and Austria alcohol consumption has begun to fall, whereas between 1992 and 2012 alcohol consumption has risen nearly 60% in Estonia.
According to Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, excessive alcohol consumption brings about massive costs to the society and the economy especially among OECD countries. He remarked:
“This report provides clear evidence that even expensive alcohol abuse prevention policies are cost-effective in the long run and underlines the need for urgent action by governments.”
The report also draws attention to the fact that binge drinking among young people is a social concern and a major public health problem when children start to take up drinking at increasingly earlier ages.
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