Alcohol use increases around the world

Published: May. 8, 2019 at 10:22 PM CDT
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People around the world are increasingly bending their elbows. Between 1990 and 2017, per capita, adult alcohol consumption increased by nearly 0.7 liters (about the same in quarts) to 6.5 liters (6.9 quarts) annually, new research indicates. The number is predicted to reach 7.6 liters (8 quarts) by 2030.

By 2030, then, half of the world's adults will drink (up from 45% in 1990), while 40% will abstain (down from 46% in 1990), according to the study published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet. Additionally, 23% of adults will binge drink at least once a month, compared with just 18.5% who did so in 1990. Binge drinkers are those who consume four standard drinks or more in one sitting at least once a month.

"Alcohol use has been increasing ... and alcohol use will seemingly continue to increase, despite the knowledge about consequence," Jürgen Rehm, study author, senior scientist, and professor at the University of Toronto, wrote in an email. "This is clearly different than tobacco."

Alcohol consumption is known to cause or contribute to many diseases, including cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. It can also lead to disability or death from both disease and injuries.

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