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World's Heaviest Drinkers News: Belarus Of Eastern Europe Topped The List; Britons Among The Most Prolific Drinkers According To WHO

BY Staff Reporter | May 13, 2014 10:56 PM EDT

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World's Heaviest Drinkers News: According to a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), people in the UK are among the most high-volume drinkers in the world. Belfast Telegraph reported that all of the countries topping the list are in Europe. Belarus takes the top spot, with people on average drinking 17.5 litres of pure alcohol a year, followed by the Republic of Moldova where the figure is 16.8 litres and Lithuania at 15.4 litres.

The United Kingdom and Ireland do not make the top ten. The "Global status report on alcohol and health 2014" stated that Britons over the age of 15 on average drink 11.6 litres of pure alcohol a year, making it joint 17th with Slovenia.

Australia and Canada also have high levels of alcohol consumption, with people on average drinking 12.2 and 10.2 litres a year respectively.

In the United States the figure is marginally lower at 9.2 litres.

But in northern Africa and the Middle East, the average figure is less than 2.5 litres of alcohol per person, with many countries having figures below one litre.

The report provides country profiles for alcohol consumption in the 194 WHO member states and the impact on public health and policy responses.

Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health says, "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."

"We found that worldwide about 16 per cent 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," says Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director for Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.

According to WHO, Europe is the region with the highest consumption of alcohol per capita globally, with some of its countries having particularly high consumption rates. Trend analysis shows that the consumption level is stable over the last 5 years in the region, as well as in Africa and the Americas, though increases have been reported in the South-East Asia and the Western Pacific regions.

The figures represent the average amount of pure alcohol consumed per capita in each country between 2008 and 2010. Here are the top 10:

1. Belarus - 17.5 litres

2. Republic of Moldova - 16.8 litres

3. Lithuania - 15.4 litres

4. Russian Federation - 15.1 litres

5. Romania - 14.4 litres

6. Ukraine - 13.9 litres

7. Andorra - 13.8 litres

8. Hungary - 13.3 litres

9. Czech Republic and Slovakia - 13 litres

10. Portugal - 12.9 litres

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