Map: How the U.S. is a lightweight among the world’s booziest nations

Does consuming 100 bottles of wine a year sound like a lot?


It turns out that this is actually the average alcohol consumption per person in many wealthy countries, according to a recent report. With the equivalent of a little more than 85 wine bottles per year, Americans consumed less than citizens of many other surveyed countries in 2012.


[Where Americans drink the most]


The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) examined alcohol consumption patterns in its 34 member states and its conclusion is damning. “The cost to society and the economy of excessive alcohol consumption around the world is massive, especially in OECD countries,” the organization’s secretary-general, Angel Gurría, commented on the report, which especially emphasizes the increasingly risky behavior of women and younger citizens.


“Alcohol now accounts for a higher proportion of deaths worldwide than HIV, AIDS, violence and tuberculosis combined,” the report warned.


Increased drinking has become particularly worrisome in Israel, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Poland and Sweden, it says. Less dramatic — but nevertheless alarming — were consumption increases in Russia, Brazil, India and China. The study blamed the easier availability of alcohol in many countries, as well as its affordability and lax advertisement restrictions. 


Despite increases in some countries, the average alcohol consumption in OECD member states has fallen by 2.5 percent between 1992 and 2012. It now stands at 2.4 gallons of pure alcohol per capita — which is above the U.S. average of 2.27 gallons. Citizens of Estonia, Austria, France, Ireland and the Czech Republic consume the most alcohol among OECD members. [Source Washington Post]


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