Healthy Living

Global Alcohol Consumption Risks Explored In New Study

Drinking alcohol has been a part of our lives ever since Indian’s distilled rice and called it Sura and the Greeks made a fermented drink from honey and water and called it mead, both of which date as far back as 2000-3000 B.C. Alcohol is a staple in most occasions and can be enjoyed during a formal Friday evening dinner or a lazy Saturday afternoon, where you can “crack open a cold one with the boys.” It’s not just a relaxing drink, for it always has been a prime mover in different cultures.

But are we drinking too much alcohol at present?

Well, that’s what a new research says. Conducted by a team consisting of researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, and the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany, the study shows that compared with around 30 years ago, people have been drinking alcohol more than ever.

And if that is not enough cause for worry, the study also reveals that this trend of increasing alcohol intake is only set to go upward over the next years. Aside from the news being definitely worrying (and sobering to say the least), the research also revealed some surprising finds. For one thing, while high-income countries have stayed the same in terms of alcohol consumption, low- and middle-income countries are seeing a continuous rise.

"Before 1990, most alcohol was consumed in high-income countries, with the highest use levels recorded in Europe. However, this pattern has changed substantially, with large reductions across Eastern Europe and vast increases in several middle-income countries, such as China, India, and Vietnam," first study author Jakob Manthey said.

Manthey and the team also stated that the plan to reduce global alcohol consumption won’t be achieved by large policymakers. Because of this, the team is hoping for more changes that will lead to this, such as tax increase on alcoholic drinks, as well as stricter laws.

"Alcohol use will remain one of the leading risk factors for the burden of disease for the foreseeable future, and its impact will probably increase, relative to other risk factors. Implementation of effective alcohol policies is warranted, especially in rapidly developing countries with growing rates of alcohol use," Manthey added.