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Alcohol Green Facts

Alcohol Green Facts

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Published by: Daisy on Nov 18, 2008
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Alcohol: Summary of ALCOHOL: Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004
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Home>Studies>Alcohol> Level 1
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Scientific Facts on
Alcohol
Source document:
WHO(2004)
Summary & Details:
GreenFacts (2006)
 
Context
- Alcohol is not an ordinary commodity.It has been part of human civilization forthousands of years, and while it is linked withconnotations of pleasure and sociability in theminds of many, its use also has harmfulconsequences.What are the impacts of alcohol consumption onhuman health, society and the economy?
Questions on Alcohol
http://www.greenfacts.org/alcohol/index.htm (1 of 6) [4/14/2006 2:46:42 PM]
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Alcohol: Summary of ALCOHOL: Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004
This study is a faithful summary of the leadingscientific consensus report produced in 2004 by theWHO(World Health Organization):"
Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004
"
Top 
1. Introduction - How many people are affected by alcohol?
Half a pint of beer on bar table
 
About 2 billion people across the world consume alcoholic drinks.Alcoholconsumption can harm health as well associal relations, but the nature and the severity of the effects depend on both the amount of alcohol consumed overtime, and the pattern of drinking.Possible injuries,alcohol dependence, andchronicdiseases can lead to losses in quality of life and to premature deaths.Around 76 million currently have alcohol use disorders, such as excessive drinking andalcohol dependence.
 
 
Top 
2. What are the general patterns of alcohol consumption?
Wine barrels
2.1 Worldwide, adults consume on average 5 litres of purealcoholfrom beer, wine and spirits per year. The averagealcohol consumption is highest in Europe, followed by the Americas and by Africa. It tends to increase with economicdevelopment. However, consumption remains low in some regions where the majority of the population is Muslim.
 
http://www.greenfacts.org/alcohol/index.htm (2 of 6) [4/14/2006 2:46:42 PM]
 
Alcohol: Summary of ALCOHOL: Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004
2.2 National preferences for certain types of drinks vary greatly. For instance, beer is preferred in several Europeanand African countries, wine is preferred in the wine producing countries of Europe, and spirits are preferred in EasternEurope, Asia and some island states. However, consumers are increasingly opening up to beverages other than thosenormally produced in their country.
2.3. Not all alcohol consumption is reflected in official national records or surveys, for instance due to homeproduction and unrecorded trade. As a result, the national alcohol consumption is often largely underestimated ,particularly the developing world and Eastern Europe.
2.4. Traditionally made local beverages are very popular, particularly in Africa, as they tend to be cheaper thanfactory-made drinks. Because of the lack of controls, they can contain harmful substances that may cause death,blindness or illnesses. However, these traditional beverages generally have a lower alcohol content and play animportant economic and social role in the local community.
 
3. What are the drinking habits in various countries?
Meal with wine
3.1Alcoholconsumption can be measured by analysing production and sales statistics and by asking people abouttheir drinking habits. Such surveys have mostly been conducted in developed countries. They can revealheavy drinking episodeswhich would go unnoticed in overall statistics.
3.2 The share of people who abstain from drinking alcohol can vary greatly, ranging from a few percent in someEuropean countries to nearly the entire population in predominantly Muslim countries such as Egypt. Across cultures,more women abstain from alcohol than men.
 3.3Heavy drinkingis a drinking pattern that goes beyond what is considered moderate or socially acceptable. InColombia and Georgia, for instance, up to 50% of all male drinkers are considered heavy drinkers. However,comparisons between surveys are difficult because they use different criteria.
3.4Heavy episodic drinking(also called binge drinking) refers to drinking occasions that lead todrunkenness. In some countries, heavy episodic drinking is common among both men and women but generally it is more frequentamong men.
3.5 Individuals arealcohol dependentwhen obtaining and consuming alcohol takes priority over many other aspectsof their lives that they previously considered more important. Alcohol dependence is consistently higher among menthan among women. In some countries, alcohol dependence affects more than 10% of the population.
3.6 Gettingdrunkhas gained a disproportionate cultural importance among young people and the use of alcohol nowseriously threatens the health and well-being of many of them.Episodic heavy drinkingis becoming increasinglyfrequent, particularly among boys. In Denmark, for instance, more than half of 11 to 15 year olds are considered
http://www.greenfacts.org/alcohol/index.htm (3 of 6) [4/14/2006 2:46:42 PM]

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