Study: Americans like beer and drink a lot, but not nearly as much as many other countries

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Posted: 11:35 AM
Last Updated: 2 hours and 54 minutes ago

By: Aaron Heintzelman KSHB-TV
Americans love to party, but it might come as a surprise that the
United States doesn?t even rank close to the top of the world?s
biggest drinkers.

The World Health Organization published worldwide numbers on alcohol
consumption this month, and Americans don?t even make the Top 50 when
it comes to overall consumption.

Still well above the global average of 6.13 liters per person, America
ranks 57th in the world, consuming an average of 9.4 liters, according
to the WHO ?Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2011.?

RELATED | List of the world's 10 biggest drinkers

Perhaps not as surprising is the fact that Americans pick beer as
their alcohol of choice above any other option. In doing so, the
United States goes against the worldwide trend of spirits as the top

Americans prefer beer at a 53 percent clip, with wine coming in a
distant second at 31 percent. Spirits, which represent a whopping 45
percent of the alcohol, consumed globally, accounts for just 15
percent in the United States.

Spirits have the highest levels of consumption in the South-East Asia
and Western Pacific regions, while beer consumption? which places
second worldwide at 36 percent of total alcohol consumption, is most
prevalent in the Region of the Americas, including the United States,
Canda, Mexico and most South American counties.

Wine-making South American countries Argentina and Chile join some
European countries as those who like wine the best.

Other points of interest coming from the WHO report include:

*More than ? (28.6 percent) of alcohol consumed worldwide is homemade
and illegally produced alcohol or, in other words, unrecorded alcohol.

*Worldwide recorded per capita consumption has remained stable at
around 4.3?4.7 litres of pure alcohol since 1990

*The income of a country is positively correlated with alcohol
consumption and negatively correlated to ?unrecorded? alcohol

*Of 73 responding countries, 71 percent reported an increase in
alcohol consumption of young people aged 13 to 15 years old.

*Globally, 45 percent of the world?s population has never consumed
alcohol (men: 35 percent; women: 55 percent).The fewest amounts of
lifetime abstainers from alcohol are found in the Americas, Eastern
Europe and Australia.

* Worldwide, about 11.5 percent of drinkers have weekly heavy episodic
drinking occasions, with men outnumbering women by four to one.

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