China and India consuming more alcohol
The world consumed 10 percent more alcohol per adult in 2017 than in 1990, due in large part to heavier and more widespread drinking in China and India, researchers said yesterday.
On current trends, global consumption per capita will rise another 17 percent over the next decade, they reported in The Lancet.
By 2030, half of all adults worldwide will drink alcohol, and almost a quarter will binge drink at least once a month, according to projections covering 189 countries and regions.
“The world is not on track to achieve global targets to reduce harmful alcohol use,” the authors said, calling for more aggressive counter-measures such as higher taxes and a ban on advertising.
The World Health Organization goal is to reduce “harmful alcohol use” 10 percent by 2025.
“Before 1990, most alcohol was consumed in high-income countries, with the highest use levels recorded in Europe,” said lead author Jakob Manthey, a researcher at the Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy in Dresden, Germany.
“However, this pattern has changed substantially, with large reductions across Eastern Europe and vast increases in several middle-income countries such as India and Vietnam.”
In China, men drank more than 11 liters of alcohol, mostly in the form of spirits and beer, while women imbibed three, for an average of just over 7 liters.
That was less than in the United States, but a nearly 70 percent jump from China’s consumption in 1990. By 2030, the two countries will have traded places: Chinese adults are projected to drink more than 10 liters on average, while American consumption of alcohol will drop slightly to 9.5 liters.
The percentage of the population who drink will have also shifted in a decade, with 77 percent in China consuming alcohol at least once in a while, and 73 percent in the United States.
In India, meanwhile, a far smaller percentage of the population — 40 and 22 percent of men and women, respectively — drank at all in 2017, on average less than 6 liters of pure alcohol.
But that was double the figure for 1990, and the researchers foresee an additional 50 percent increase by 2030.