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Americans are drinking more alcohol than they did ten years ago

Americans are drinking more alcohol than they did ten years ago and men drink THREE TIMES as much as women

  • US adults are drinking 2.56 gallons of pure alcohol a year, about five milk cartons
  • Men had 3.96 gallons, three times more than women who consumped 1.2 gallons
  • Study in The Lancet warned that US booze consumption increased in ten years
  • Increased drinking is linked to 200 diseases including pancreatitis and cancer

Adults in the US are drinking more alcohol than they did ten years ago.

And American men are drinking three times more than women, swallowing about eight milk cartons, or 3.96 gallons, of pure alcohol a year compared to women who drink on average 1.2 gallons.

Published in The Lancet, the study warned that booze consumption increased from 2.46 gallons to 2.56 gallons a year between 2010 and 2017.

Increased drinking has been linked to liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, osteoporosis along with 200 other diseases. 

Adults in the US are drinking more alcohol than they did ten years ago and men are drinking much more than women

However, it found that the percentage of binge drinkers, those that take on two ounces or more of pure alcohol in two or more sittings within 30 days, had decreased from 29 to 27 per cent. 

The number of adults drinking alcohol in the US had also risen from 72 per cent of the population to 73 per cent, and the amount taking lifetime abstinence had decreased from 12 per cent to 11 per cent.

Jurgem Rehm PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada, and lead study author, warned there has been a marked increase in alcohol consumption in certain US populations while overall consumption remained the same. 

‘What is especially of concern is an increase in alcohol-attributable harm in certain areas, which is caused by the interaction between alcohol use and other factors, such as insufficient medical care, poor food habits in the lower SES and smoking,’ he said.

‘This has created a situation, that the impact of alcohol on health has increased, even in a situation, were the level of alcohol consumption has been relatively stable.’

At country-level, Moldova had the highest alcohol intake (15litres per adult per year), and Kuwait had the lowest (0.005litres per person per year).

At country-level, Moldova had the highest alcohol intake (15litres per adult per year), and Kuwait had the lowest (0.005litres per person per year). 

The study measured the per capita alcohol consumption in the US and 188 other countries using data from the WHO and Global Burden of Disease study.

It also modelled the level of alcohol consumption in 2030 using gross domestic product and the religious composition of the population.

Globally adults consumed 1.7 gallons of pure alcohol in 2017, up from 1.6 gallons back in 1990.

And the findings revealed the Seychelles saw the biggest spike, recording a jump of around 90 per cent.

Vietnam (89 per cent), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (51 per cent), Swaziland (50 per cent) and Trinidad and Tobago (31 per cent) all also saw major spikes.

The biggest drop was in the Eastern European nation of Belarus, where consumption plummeted 38 per cent from 17.5litres to 10.9litres.

The UK also saw a slight slump in its alcohol consumption in the last ten years.

Some 35.7billion litres of alcohol was consumed in 2017, up from the 21billion in 1990. Population growth accounts for a large percentage. 

DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISK

One screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is considered to be the gold standard in helping to determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.

The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO.

To complete it, answer each question and note down the corresponding score.

YOUR SCORE:

0-7: You are within the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.

Over 8: Indicate harmful or hazardous drinking.

8-15: Medium level of risk. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for tips).

16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own may be difficult at this level, as you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counsellor.

20 and over: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reduce your drinking. You should seek professional help to ascertain the level of your dependence and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.

Severe dependence may need medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours needing specialist treatment.

HOW MUCH HAS ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION INCREASED OR DECREASED IN YOUR COUNTRY SINCE 1990 AND 2010? 
COUNTRY 1990 2010 2017 JUMP FROM 1990 JUMP FROM 2010
Afghanistan 0.0 0.2 0.2 -0.2 0.0
Angola 4.1 9.0 5.9 -1.8 3.2
Albania 3.1 7.9 7.4 -4.3 0.5
Andorra 14.8 11.4 11.2 3.6 0.2
United Arab Emirates 5.7 3.1 3.7 2.0 -0.6
Argentina 13.5 9.3 9.6 3.9 -0.4
Armenia 4.8 5.6 5.6 -0.7 0.1
Antigua and Barbuda 3.7 6.1 7.4 -3.7 -1.3
Australia 12.9 12.5 10.7 2.2 1.8
Austria 14.8 12.0 12.1 2.7 -0.1
Azerbaijan 5.9 2.9 0.5 5.4 2.4
Burundi 10.3 7.1 7.0 3.4 0.2
Belgium 13.2 11.4 12.0 1.2 -0.7
Benin 1.5 2.4 3.3 -1.8 -0.9
Burkina Faso 6.2 7.1 8.3 -2.1 -1.2
Bangladesh 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.1 0.2
Bulgaria 11.6 12.0 12.8 -1.2 -0.8
Bahrain 4.7 1.9 2.0 2.7 -0.1
Bahamas 5.9 4.2 4.3 1.7 -0.1
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3.7 7.3 6.6 -2.9 0.8
Belarus 14.1 17.5 10.9 3.2 6.6
Belize 5.6 7.0 6.6 -1.0 0.5
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 4.6 5.9 5.0 -0.3 0.9
Brazil 6.7 8.8 7.4 -0.7 1.4
Barbados 7.1 8.1 9.7 -2.6 -1.6
Brunei Darussalam 1.3 0.5 0.4 0.9 0.2
Bhutan 1.2 1.2 0.6 0.5 0.5
Botswana 5.2 8.6 8.0 -2.8 0.6
Central African Republic 3.7 3.9 3.2 0.6 0.7
Canada 10.4 10.2 9.1 1.3 1.1
Switzerland 14.6 11.4 11.3 3.3 0.1
Chile 10.5 9.3 9.4 1.1 0.0
China 4.4 7.1 7.4 -2.9 -0.2
Cote d’Ivoire 6.4 7.5 8.9 -2.5 -1.4
Cameroon 7.0 8.7 9.2 -2.2 -0.4
Democratic Republic of the Congo 3.3 2.5 2.9 0.4 -0.4
Congo 4.2 6.4 8.4 -4.2 -2.0
Cook Islands 4.9 10.6 9.3 -4.4 1.2
Colombia 8.4 5.0 5.8 2.7 -0.8
Comoros 0.3 0.2 0.5 -0.3 -0.3
Cabo Verde 4.7 7.6 5.1 -0.4 2.5
Costa Rica 7.6 4.7 4.7 2.9 0.0
Cuba 4.6 5.1 6.1 -1.5 -1.0
Cyprus 9.6 11.3 10.8 -1.2 0.4
Czechia 15.3 14.0 14.3 1.0 -0.3
Germany 16.3 12.9 13.1 3.3 -0.1
Djibouti 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.3
Dominica 10.1 6.5 8.2 1.9 -1.6
Denmark 13.4 10.9 10.1 3.4 0.8
Dominican Republic 5.6 6.7 6.9 -1.3 -0.2
Algeria 0.3 0.7 0.9 -0.6 -0.2
Ecuador 3.3 5.8 5.0 -1.7 0.8
Egypt 0.2 0.4 0.4 -0.2 0.0
Eritrea 0.4 1.1 1.4 -0.9 -0.3
Spain 14.2 10.5 10.0 4.2 0.5
Estonia 9.9 12.4 11.4 -1.5 1.1
Ethiopia 3.2 3.2 2.9 0.3 0.3
Finland 12.0 12.6 10.7 1.3 1.8
Fiji 3.0 3.0 3.1 -0.1 -0.1
France 15.5 12.2 12.4 3.1 -0.2
Micronesia (Federated States of) 0.0 2.8 2.5 -2.5 0.4
Gabon 10.0 10.7 11.3 -1.3 -0.6
United Kingdom 12.6 12.3 11.4 1.2 0.9
Georgia 5.3 10.4 9.0 -3.8 1.3
Ghana 3.8 5.3 2.8 1.1 2.5
Guinea 0.7 0.7 1.1 -0.4 -0.4
Gambia 2.0 3.8 3.5 -1.5 0.3
Guinea-Bissau 4.4 4.2 4.8 -0.4 -0.6
Equatorial Guinea 3.9 10.3 11.5 -7.6 -1.2
Greece 12.3 10.4 10.4 1.9 0.0
Grenada 6.9 8.1 9.4 -2.5 -1.3
Guatemala 4.6 3.5 2.5 2.1 0.9
Guyana 9.4 5.8 6.4 3.1 -0.6
Honduras 3.3 3.9 4.0 -0.8 -0.2
Croatia 13.6 11.2 9.2 4.4 2.0
Haiti 6.4 6.4 5.8 0.6 0.6
Hungary 17.2 12.1 11.2 6.1 0.9
Indonesia 0.5 0.7 0.8 -0.3 -0.1
India 2.8 4.3 5.9 -3.1 -1.6
Ireland 13.6 12.3 13.2 0.4 -0.9
Iran (Islamic Republic of) 0.0 1.0 1.0 -1.0 0.0
Iraq 0.9 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.1
Iceland 6.0 7.4 9.1 -3.1 -1.6
Israel 2.0 2.9 3.9 -1.9 -1.0
Italy 12.1 7.0 7.4 4.7 -0.4
Jamaica 5.5 3.9 4.1 1.4 -0.2
Jordan 0.2 0.7 0.8 -0.6 -0.1
Japan 8.3 7.1 7.9 0.5 -0.7
Kazakhstan 5.2 9.3 6.6 -1.4 2.7
Kenya 5.5 4.6 2.9 2.5 1.7
Kyrgyzstan 7.7 10.1 4.6 3.1 5.5
Cambodia 0.8 5.0 7.0 -6.2 -2.0
Kiribati 1.9 1.9 0.4 1.5 1.5
Saint Kitts and Nevis 4.9 9.3 9.4 -4.6 -0.1
Republic of Korea 10.6 9.9 9.8 0.7 0.1
Kuwait 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 5.8 7.0 10.6 -4.8 -3.5
Lebanon 2.8 2.0 1.5 1.3 0.6
Liberia 6.6 5.3 5.0 1.6 0.3
Libya 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.1
Saint Lucia 10.8 9.5 9.8 1.0 -0.3
Sri Lanka 2.2 4.0 4.5 -2.4 -0.6
Lesotho 5.6 6.8 5.0 0.6 1.8
Lithuania 11.9 15.1 14.7 -2.8 0.4
Luxembourg 15.9 12.6 12.7 3.2 -0.1
Latvia 8.9 11.6 12.9 -4.0 -1.3
Morocco 1.3 1.0 0.7 0.6 0.3
Republic of Moldova 23.1 17.9 15.0 8.0 2.9
Madagascar 2.8 2.0 2.0 0.9 0.0
Maldives 0.7 1.9 2.5 -1.8 -0.6
Mexico 6.7 6.7 6.6 0.1 0.1
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 9.5 6.3 7.8 1.7 -1.5
Mali 1.1 1.1 1.3 -0.2 -0.2
Malta 6.9 7.0 8.2 -1.3 -1.2
Myanmar 0.3 2.9 4.7 -4.4 -1.8
Montenegro 11.0 11.0 8.1 2.9 2.9
Mongolia 3.0 7.0 8.1 -5.1 -1.1
Mozambique 1.2 1.7 2.6 -1.4 -0.9
Mauritania 0.5 0.1 0.0 0.5 0.0
Mauritius 3.6 3.8 3.7 -0.1 0.0
Malawi 2.0 3.3 3.9 -1.9 -0.6
Malaysia 2.1 1.4 0.9 1.2 0.5
Namibia 4.2 11.5 10.3 -6.1 1.2
Niger 0.2 0.3 0.7 -0.5 -0.4
Nigeria 10.3 11.5 13.4 -3.1 -2.0
Nicaragua 4.1 4.8 5.3 -1.2 -0.5
Niue 7.9 7.0 7.5 0.4 -0.5
Netherlands 11.1 10.4 9.0 2.2 1.4
Norway 7.1 9.0 7.7 -0.6 1.3
Nepal 0.3 2.1 2.6 -2.3 -0.4
Nauru 6.5 6.3 4.8 1.7 1.6
New Zealand 13.5 11.4 10.8 2.7 0.5
Oman 0.4 0.7 0.8 -0.4 -0.1
Pakistan 0.1 0.2 0.3 -0.2 -0.2
Panama 6.4 7.7 7.7 -1.4 0.0
Peru 7.9 8.0 6.1 1.8 1.9
Philippines 4.9 7.1 6.6 -1.8 0.5
Papua New Guinea 3.1 1.7 1.5 1.6 0.2
Poland 9.9 11.4 11.7 -1.8 -0.3
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 4.3 3.8 3.8 0.5 0.0
Portugal 16.5 13.5 12.3 4.2 1.2
Paraguay 10.3 8.2 6.4 3.8 1.8
Qatar 1.7 1.7 2.0 -0.4 -0.3
Romania 14.7 15.0 12.0 2.7 3.0
Russian Federation 12.9 15.8 12.3 0.5 3.5
Rwanda 15.4 10.3 8.4 7.1 2.0
Saudi Arabia 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0
Sudan 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0
Senegal 1.0 0.6 0.7 0.3 -0.1
Singapore 2.0 2.2 2.0 0.0 0.2
Solomon Islands 1.0 1.6 1.6 -0.7 0.0
Sierra Leone 6.4 6.0 5.7 0.7 0.3
El Salvador 3.2 3.3 3.7 -0.5 -0.4
Somalia 0.8 0.5 0.0 0.7 0.5
Serbia 11.3 11.7 11.0 0.3 0.7
Sao Tome and Principe 5.1 8.3 7.3 -2.2 1.0
Suriname 5.1 6.3 5.1 0.0 1.2
Slovakia 13.9 11.9 11.3 2.7 0.6
Slovenia 15.0 11.5 12.1 2.8 -0.7
Sweden 7.5 9.5 9.3 -1.7 0.2
Swaziland 6.3 6.8 10.2 -3.9 -3.4
Seychelles 4.1 6.3 12.0 -8.0 -5.7
Syrian Arab Republic 0.8 0.9 0.3 0.4 0.6
Chad 3.8 4.9 1.7 2.1 3.2
Togo 3.1 2.4 3.6 -0.5 -1.1
Thailand 5.5 7.6 8.8 -3.3 -1.1
Tajikistan 6.3 2.4 3.4 2.9 -1.0
Turkmenistan 0.9 6.0 4.8 -3.9 1.2
Timor-Leste 1.2 0.7 2.3 -1.1 -1.7
Tonga 0.8 1.4 1.7 -0.9 -0.3
Trinidad and Tobago 6.3 6.7 8.8 -2.5 -2.1
Tunisia 0.9 1.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.5
Turkey 2.2 2.2 1.9 0.2 0.3
Tuvalu 2.0 1.7 2.1 0.0 -0.3
United Republic of Tanzania 8.0 9.7 10.1 -2.1 -0.3
Uganda 9.2 13.2 9.0 0.2 4.2
Ukraine 11.2 14.3 8.7 2.5 5.6
Uruguay 8.5 9.2 11.0 -2.5 -1.8
United States of America 9.7 9.3 9.8 -0.1 -0.4
Uzbekistan 2.6 3.2 2.6 0.1 0.6
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6.0 6.8 8.4 -2.4 -1.6
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 10.7 8.5 5.3 5.5 3.2
Viet Nam 0.3 4.7 8.9 -8.6 -4.2
Vanuatu 2.0 1.1 1.1 0.9 0.0
Samoa 2.8 2.9 2.4 0.5 0.6
Yemen 1.0 0.2 0.1 0.9 0.2
South Africa 9.1 10.5 9.2 -0.1 1.3
Zambia 4.6 4.5 5.1 -0.5 -0.6
Zimbabwe 4.7 3.5 5.3 -0.6 -1.8
SOURCE: GLOBAL BURDEN OF DISEASE STUDY. NUMBER IS LITRES OF PURE ALCOHOL PER PERSON EACH YEAR

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