Binge drinking falls globally

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Alcohol

Binge drinking has fallen by 18% or more across the Americas, Europe and Africa, according to figures from the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

Some of the largest declines have been seen among young people in Europe. In 2005, almost half (44%) of all 20 to 24-year-olds were binge drinkers. In 2016, however, this dropped to just over one-third (34%). Across Europe and Eastern Mediterranean regions, binge drinking has declined by more than 25%.

Elsewhere, 18% fewer people across Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, and Central and South America were binge drinking in 2016, compared to 2005.

The perception of binge drinking levels, however, can be different to the reality: with 51% of adults across nine countries believing that binge drinking is on the rise.

While binge drinking has fallen globally, it is on the rise across the Western Pacific region, which has increased by 14% among 20- to 24-year-olds since 2005, and by 6% in South-East Asia.

Binge drinking - or 'Heavy Episodic Drinking' - is defined as having consumed 60g or more of pure alcohol on at least one occasion in the past 30 days.

Henry Ashworth, CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, said: “Successful strategies for preventing binge drinking maximise the unique contributions that different stakeholders can offer through a whole-of-society approach. It takes partners from public, private, and civil society sectors to work together to bring further positive change."

The survey was based on 12,000 adults across nine countries. 

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking is made up of 11 major beer, wine and spirits companies with the aim of supporting the World Health Organization's target of a 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol by 2025.

The member companies are active in 110 countries and are AB InBev, Asahi, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Carlsberg, Diageo, Heineken, Kirin, Molson Coors and Pernod Ricard. 

The full report can be found here.​