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10th Apr 2024

British women top list of world’s biggest female binge drinkers

Ryan Grace

26% of British women drink 6+ drinks in a single session at least once per month

A study on alcohol consumption has revealed that women in the UK are amongst the biggest binge drinkers in the world.

In a study released last year by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), alcohol consumption was compared across 33 countries.

The study was split between male and female binge drinkers (defined as having at least six drinks in a single session), but also totted up an average of combined sexes. The UK placed third, but placed first for women at 26%. British men were higher, at 45%.

Denmark and Romania topped the list on their mixed-sex averages, with Romania having by far the heaviest male drinkers.

UK remains one of the leading consumers of alcohol worldwide

The OECD said that people shouldn’t regularly drink over 14 units of alcohol in a week, equating to approximately six beers or glasses of wine, adding that “an average of 2.4% of health expenditure is spent on dealing with the harm caused by alcohol consumption, and the figure reaches as high as 4% in some countries.”

Apart from alcohol, the report also found adults in the UK were more likely to say they vaped compared with other countries, but have lower than average smoking rates.

12.7% of adults smoke in the UK, compared with the OECD average of 16%.

One in 20 adults in Britain (4.9%) said they vaped regularly, compared with the OECD average of 3.2%.

NHS under the microscope

The new study from the OECD also looked into healthcare systems and spending.

It found that the UK spends more on healthcare than comparable countries, but actually has fewer hospital beds and pays nurses a worse wage than other countries.

UK spent about 11.3% of its GDP on health in 2022, higher than average proportion.

In fact only five countries – the US, Germany, France, Japan and Austria – spend a greater proportion.

Despite this, the report goes on to suggest that the UK does not rank favourably on a number of healthcare measures.

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