The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a report on alcohol consumption around the world, revealing which are the world’s heaviest drinking nations.
According to the Global status report on alcohol and health 2014, Belarus tops the list as the heaviest drinkers, with Belarusians consuming an average of 17.5 litres of pure alcohol per year.
Eastern Europe and Russia make up the top of the chart, with the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia not even making the top ten. The UK was 17th on the list, joint with Slovenia, with the population consuming an average 11.6 litres of alcohol, a decline of 12% since 2005.
High levels of drinking can cause major health complications, as Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, said:
“More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption.
“The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.”
Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director for Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO, said:
“We found that worldwide about 16% of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking – often referred to as ‘binge-drinking’ – which is the most harmful to health.
“Lower-income groups are more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol. They often lack quality health care and are less protected by functional family or community networks.”
World’s heaviest drinking countries 2014
- Belarus – 17.5 litres
- Republic of Moldova – 16.8 litres
- Lithuania – 15.4 litres
- Russian Federation – 15.1 litres
- Romania – 14.4 litres
- Ukraine – 13.9 litres
- Andorra – 13.8 litres
- Hungary – 13.3 litres
- Czech Republic and Slovakia – 13 litres
- Portugal – 12.9 litres