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Report Issues Warning on Alcohol Consumption

May 13, 2015
Public Health

A new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has found that on average each person in the UK consumes 10.6 litres of pure alcohol every year, the equivalent of 115 bottles of wine.

The document entitled ‘Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use’ places the UK 11th out of the 40 nations examined in terms of alcohol consumption, which is now globally the fifth leading cause of death and disability. Figures show that 20% of the UK population is responsible for 60% of alcohol consumption with the number of 15 year olds who have drunk up from 71% in 2002 to 75% in 2010.

Mark Pearson, head of health at the OECD believes that there is plenty that could be done to address the problem including minimum unit pricing, enforcing clear labeling and banning drinks companies from sponsoring sporting events. “I think the evidence shows that these work. I think that if they’re well designed there are some opportunities there that the UK could be doing more. 

“This really is large amounts of money involved for the economy, in terms of loss productivity, health spending, and accidents and ill health, so I think it does clearly make sense to us that this is the sort of area that any country that cares about its economic performance has to take seriously.” The report advises that four in five drinkers could reduce their risk of death if they cut their alcohol consumption by just one unit a week. There was some positive news for the UK with the proportion of men and women that binge drink down by 4% compared to 2006.

You can download a copy of Tackling Harmful Alcohol Abuse HERE