How harmful alcohol can be for your health has been known for years. And yet more and more is drunk worldwide, so the result of an international study in the journal "The Lancet". An analysis of data from 189 countries showed that the consumption of alcohol in the world's population rose by 70 percent from 1990 to 2017. Cause was the population increase and the stronger consumption per capita. However, there were big regional differences. For example, while it grew strongly in China, India and Vietnam, it has dropped significantly from a high level in Eastern European countries. In Germany, the scientists observed a stagnation with a slight decline in the trend.
Every German drinks 500 bottles … WHO report on alcohol consumption (2110046) Traffic accidents, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are only some of the causes of death directly or indirectly associated with alcohol. According to the World Health Organization WHO, every 20th death in 2016 was worldwide. Accordingly, from 2018 to 2025, abusive alcohol consumption should be reduced by ten percent – a goal that the study authors believe will probably be missed. "Instead, alcohol will remain one of the major risk factors for predictable diseases and its effects are likely to increase relative to other risk factors," said Jakob Manthey of the Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (IKPP) of the TU Dresden in a statement released for the study.
For the study, the research team analyzed data on alcohol consumption by people aged 15 to 99 from 189 countries for the years 1990, 2010 and 2017 and also predicted the development for the year 2030. The scientists found that 2017 in North African countries and countries of the Middle East was the least drunk, while it was the highest in Central and Eastern Europe. The highest increase since 2010, however, was observed at 34 percent in economically rising Southeast Asia.
Moldavians drink the most
In detail, Eastern European Moldova had the highest levels of consumption in 2017 (15 liters of pure alcohol per person aged 15 to 99 years) and predominantly Muslim Kuwait the least (less than 0.005 liters). The different numbers and developments lead scientists back to factors such as religion, health policy and economic growth. Above all, economic growth seems to have an effect here, as the examples of China and India show, where alcohol consumption between 1990 and 2017 has almost or more than doubled.
bierfasten16.35Global In 1990, every human being aged 15 to 99 drank an average of 5.9 liters of pure alcohol. By 2017, this consumption increased to 6.5 liters. To classify: Half a liter of beer contains about 20 grams of pure alcohol. According to the study, the numbers stagnated or declined in Germany and other high-income countries: In 1990, 16.32 liters of pure alcohol were still drunk in Germany, compared to 12.95 liters in 2010. In 2017, a slight increase to 13.05 liters followed. For 2030, however, the scientists predict a consumption of 11.63 liters.
"Our study provides a comprehensive overview of the changing landscape of global alcohol consumption," summarizes psychologist Manthey. "Prior to 1990 most alcohol was consumed in high-income countries with the highest levels in Europe, but this pattern has changed significantly, with strong reductions in Eastern Europe and huge increases in several middle-income countries such as China, India and Vietnam." This trend is expected to continue until 2030, so that Europe will no longer have the highest alcohol consumption, Manthey continues.
Number of lifelong teetotallers remain stable
Another observation of the study: The number of lifelong abstainers remained roughly stable globally (1990: 46 percent, 2017: 43 percent), as well as those of heavy drinkers (1990: 18.5 percent, 2017: 20 percent). The researchers estimate that this data will hardly change, however, the amount of alcohol consumed will grow more than the number of drinkers – with corresponding health consequences.
In a commentary to the study, which was also published in "The Lancet", the addicts Sarah Callinan of the Australian La Trobe University and Michael Livingston of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, warned to be cautious about the predictions of the study , For example, accurate forecasts of alcohol consumption and economic growth are always very difficult to make. Nonetheless, low-income and middle-income countries in particular should adapt their addiction policy, as it is likely that people will drink more in the future. Examples from high-income countries have shown that higher prices or a restriction on availability could be effective, write Callinan and Livingston. At the same time advertising bans or restrictions are meaningful measures – also against the resistance of the industry. These drinks are real calorie bombs in 1915
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