Germans drink liters of alcohol

Germans drink liters of alcohol

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Harmful to health: Germans drink an average of almost twelve liters of pure alcohol a year

The Germans ingested more than five liters of pure alcohol per capita in 2012 solely from their beer consumption. Overall, Germans over the age of 15 drank an average of just under 12 liters of pure alcohol per person in 2012, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The “Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014” provides an overview of the worldwide development of alcohol consumption, the national differences and the health consequences to be determined. "3.3 million deaths worldwide resulted from alcohol abuse in 2012," said the WHO statement. Not only is alcohol consumption associated with the risk of addiction, it also promotes the development of more than 200 diseases, including cirrhosis of the liver and certain types of cancer. According to the results of the report, excessive alcohol consumption also "makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia." When the report was presented in Geneva, the WHO expert on noncommunicable diseases and mental health, Dr. Oleg Chestnov that "more needs to be done to protect the population from the negative health effects of alcohol consumption."

Men drink significantly more than women The WHO report also shows drastic gender-specific differences in German alcohol consumption. Men drink an average of 16.8 liters of pure alcohol per year, while women only have less than half (7 liters of pure alcohol per person per year). According to the WHO, 4.7 percent of men in Germany and 1.1 percent of women develop alcohol addiction. Overall, Europe stands out due to a significantly higher per capita consumption (10.9 liters compared to 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per year) and Germany is one of the countries in the EU with significantly above-average consumption. According to the WHO report, the majority of alcohol in this country is consumed in the form of beer (54 percent), but wine also makes a considerable contribution with 28 percent of consumption. 18 percent of alcohol consumption comes from spirits. However, it should also be mentioned at this point that 5.5 percent of Germans are lifelong abstainers who have never consumed a drop of alcohol.

Alcohol consumption highest in Europe Although Europe is the region with the highest alcohol consumption per capita worldwide, the WHO trend analysis shows that consumption here has been largely stable over the past five years. In other regions, where alcohol consumption has been relatively low so far, such as Southeast Asia, there is a drastic increase in alcohol consumption. The WHO also expects a significant increase in alcohol consumption from a low level, especially in China and India. In Europe, on the other hand, a slight decrease in the alcohol consumption to date has been extremely high. However, the current report also makes it clear here "that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol," emphasized Dr. Chestnov.

Governments asked to act WHO asked governments to step up their fight against alcohol abuse. The need for more action was also confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly. Some countries are already taking measures to protect the population. "These include increasing taxes on alcohol, restricting the availability of alcohol by raising the age limit and regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages," the WHO statement said. The World Health Organization further reports that people in poorer countries in particular are more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol abuse, as "high quality health care" is lacking here. (fp)

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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