The topic of alcohol consumption is always relevant. Excessive drinking is associated with numerous serious health consequences, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol also contributes to death and disability through accidents and injuries, assault, violence, homicide and suicide.
There are many points of view about the use of alcoholic beverages. Some doctors categorically argue that alcohol in any quantities is evil. But others pay attention to the measure of consumption: if it is observed, then good wine can also be healing.
A stereotype has been formed for a very long time that some nations, such as the British, Irish or Russians, are especially “drinkers”. However, studies that have been conducted over a long period of time show a different picture. According to the OECD, the aforementioned nations are not even among the top five countries whose population consumes alcohol the most.
Alcohol consumption in liters per capita was defined in studies as the annual sales of pure alcohol in liters per person aged 15 and over. Look at the OECD list for 2021 (pictured). The top three in terms of alcohol consumption were led by Latvia (12.1 liters), the Czech Republic (11.6 liters) and Lithuania (11.4 liters).
The British, who for years were leading in the consumption of alcoholic beverages in Europe, not only gave way to the Baltics and Czechs, but also dropped several positions. The UK is now in the middle of the list with 9.7 liters of alcohol consumed per adult.
And what about the Irish and Russians? Russia is not in the lead, but in a rather high 9th place (10.8 liters), and the Irish, as the list shows, in 20th place, and they began to consume alcohol slightly less than the British (9.5 liters).
The Greeks surprised us: they took penultimate place in the European list. Greece has seen the largest drop in alcohol consumption in recent years: 6.3 liters per adult. What’s happening? Do Greeks stop drinking?
Apparently, not only in Greece, but throughout Europe, the habits of drinking strong alcohol are changing, and young people are switching to beer and other low-alcohol drinks.
The OECD study notes: “Many European countries have taken a number of measures to reduce alcohol consumption, such as raising prices, taxing, restricting availability and banning advertising, alcohol promotion… But their effectiveness is reduced due to poor enforcement of regulations and limited resources… In any case, policy makers need to address this issue in order to increase the health of the population. Intervention strategies are needed to control alcohol consumption…”