25 countries that drink most alcoholic drinks in the world (Rediff)

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According to Rediff about 250 billion litres of alcohol is consumed all across the world, with European nations leading the pack. The best placed non-European country is South Korea.

[h=1]25 countries that drink most beer, wine, spirits in the world[/h] January 11, 2014 08:53 IST


http://www.rediff.com/business/slid...t-beer-wine-spirits-in-the-world/20140111.htm

List:
1. Moldova
2. The Czech Republic
3. Hungary
4. Russia
5. Ukraine
6. Estonia
7. Andorra
8. Romania
9. Slovenia
10. Belarus
11. Croatia
12. Lithuania
13. South Korea
14. Portugal
15. Ireland
16. France
17. United Kingdom
18. Denmark
19. Slovakia
20. Poland
21. Austria
22. Luxembourg
23. Germany
24. Finland
25. Latvia
 
So 24 European countries in the top 25, including all North Slavic and Baltic countries ! It's odd that South Koreans drink so much since East Asians lack the enzymes for digesting alcohol efficiently.
 
Belgium should be in the top 25.
According to local propaganda here, many Belgians are alcohol addicted.
All neighbouring countries except the Netherlands are in the list.
 
I don't understand the math of this ranking. For example how can Russia rank above Estonia when Estonia has higher consumption of each beer/wine/spirits than Russia?



Russia
Consumption of beer: 3.65 litres per capita per year
Consumption of wine: 0.10 litres per capita per year
Consumption of spirits: 6.88 litres per capita per year
Overall rank in per capita consumption of alcohol: 4


...

Estonia

Consumption of beer: 5.53 litres per capita per year

Consumption of wine: 1.09 litres per capita per year
Consumption of spirits: 9.19 litres per capita per year
Overall rank in per capita consumption of alcohol: 6
 
When I look around the internet, I find references to different studies by different groups, all showing slightly different results in terms of who drinks the most, I suppose because they have different ways of trying the measure alcohol consumption. However, the results are broadly similar - the nations that consume the most alcohol per capita are mostly European, and Koreans apparently drink more than other Asians.
 
When I look around the internet, I find references to different studies by different groups, all showing slightly different results in terms of who drinks the most, I suppose because they have different ways of trying the measure alcohol consumption. However, the results are broadly similar - the nations that consume the most alcohol per capita are mostly European, and Koreans apparently drink more than other Asians.

The only country appearing in the list that actually surprised me was Portugal.

I wonder how these numbers correlate with actual levels of alcoholism.
 
The only country appearing in the list that actually surprised me was Portugal.

I wonder how these numbers correlate with actual levels of alcoholism.
Surprisingly it is hard to find alcoholism statistics. I remember seeing one some time ago. It was showing more alcoholics in Northern Europe than by Mediterranean Sea. It is with agreement with spread of farming from south to north which brought first alcohol with it. People around Mediterranean had more time "getting used to" distractive effect of alcohol, and can deal with it much better. For the same reason, it does most devastation for Natives of North America and Australian Aborigines, it also affects Black Americans more than whites. Pretty much it correlates with history of farming.
 
Surprisingly it is hard to find alcoholism statistics. I remember seeing one some time ago. It was showing more alcoholics in Northern Europe than by Mediterranean Sea. It is with agreement with spread of farming from south to north which brought first alcohol with it. People around Mediterranean had more time "getting used to" distractive effect of alcohol, and can deal with it much better. For the same reason, it does most devastation for Natives of North America and Australian Aborigines, it also affects Black Americans more than whites. Pretty much it correlates with history of farming.

I don't think it's quite that simple. Perhaps people in northern Europe have higher rates of alcoholism because they have higher rates of depression, since they have to live through the dark winter months of the northern hemisphere. Certainly Europeans generally handle alcohol better than many other races because Europeans have the enzymes necessary to digest alcohol well. But some of these other people who don't handle alcohol well hardly drink, while others drink a lot (especially those races who were colonized to the point where they permanently lost control of what had been their land). I think all sorts of things affect who drinks more, but of course the question of who better handles X amount of alcohol if they drink it depends on whether they have the necessary enzymes to digest alcohol.
 
I don't think it's quite that simple. Perhaps people in northern Europe have higher rates of alcoholism because they have higher rates of depression, since they have to live through the dark winter months of the northern hemisphere. Certainly Europeans generally handle alcohol better than many other races because Europeans have the enzymes necessary to digest alcohol well. But some of these other people who don't handle alcohol well hardly drink, while others drink a lot (especially those races who were colonized to the point where they permanently lost control of what had been their land). I think all sorts of things affect who drinks more, but of course the question of who better handles X amount of alcohol if they drink it depends on whether they have the necessary enzymes to digest alcohol.
Surely there many more reasons for people to go into alcoholism. I was just going for this main one, which nicely correlates nicely with farming and history of alcohol.
Should we call it "The gift of farmers"?

I just wonder if EEF were sharing their alcohol with neighboring hunter-gathers WHG. Sort of like Europeans with Native Americans. It could cause destruction of WHG communities. Although I'm not sure when alcohol was invented by farmers.
 
Surely there many more reasons for people to go into alcoholism. I was just going for this main one, which nicely correlates nicely with farming and history of alcohol.
Should we call it "The gift of farmers"?

I just wonder if EEF were sharing their alcohol with neighboring hunter-gathers WHG. Sort of like Europeans with Native Americans. It could cause destruction of WHG communities. Although I'm not sure when alcohol was invented by farmers.

Evidence for the earliest fermented drinks came from a site in China..[Jiahu].. 7000 BC.

However in Europe, the evidence for the earliest beer came from a neolithic site at Can Sadurni, in Spain.
http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index...tual-includes-earliest-evidence-european-beer

So it seems we have been brewing for a while, LeBrok.
 
Evidence for the earliest fermented drinks came from a site in China..[Jiahu].. 7000 BC.

However in Europe, the evidence for the earliest beer came from a neolithic site at Can Sadurni, in Spain.
http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index...tual-includes-earliest-evidence-european-beer

So it seems we have been brewing for a while, LeBrok.
If it was similar in Europe then alcohol and farming have spread at same time. Though too soon for farmers to build immunity to it, so farmers and HGs were same drunk from it. Unless, they couldn't produce enough alcohol to be drunk as much as they wanted? This could have protected their societies from rampant alcoholism and cultural and economic collapse.
There is also a chance that alcohol became only affordable by 18-19 century for masses, with industrial production. I remember reading from Polish history about alcoholism of noble class in 15-17 century, and widespread alcoholism in lower classes by 19 century.
 
Are they sure it was a beer? Finding a jar with a substance that is also contained in a beer doesn't mean much. It could be anything from lime to vomit...

That`s a good question, Ike.
The piece just says they found traces of oxalate [ calcium oxalate I presume ]. If so, I read this is a scale that forms on brewery containers. Also barley corn is a cereal which is used in brewing. I would expect they did a proper analysis and not yet published full report.
I did a bit of a search regarding the piece but there`s nothing that gives any better details. I`d like to know more about it also.
 
If it was similar in Europe then alcohol and farming have spread at same time. Though too soon for farmers to build immunity to it, so farmers and HGs were same drunk from it. Unless, they couldn't produce enough alcohol to be drunk as much as they wanted? This could have protected their societies from rampant alcoholism and cultural and economic collapse.
There is also a chance that alcohol became only affordable by 18-19 century for masses, with industrial production. I remember reading from Polish history about alcoholism of noble class in 15-17 century, and widespread alcoholism in lower classes by 19 century.

What do you think regarding this novel idea..I just found it earlier by accident. Talk about putting a new spin on something.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...-alcohol-not-bake-bread-claims-scientist.html
 
If it was similar in Europe then alcohol and farming have spread at same time. Though too soon for farmers to build immunity to it, so farmers and HGs were same drunk from it. Unless, they couldn't produce enough alcohol to be drunk as much as they wanted? This could have protected their societies from rampant alcoholism and cultural and economic collapse.
There is also a chance that alcohol became only affordable by 18-19 century for masses, with industrial production. I remember reading from Polish history about alcoholism of noble class in 15-17 century, and widespread alcoholism in lower classes by 19 century.

I guess different European countries have had different histories when it comes to alcohol. In England and Scotland, the rural masses drank large amounts of alcoholic beverages. In Scotland it was whiskey, and in different parts of England it was either ale or hard cider. Alcoholic beverages are cheap if you make them from your own produce and don't pay any taxes on them. And once a large urban population developed in England, the working poor drank large amounts of gin. Originally, governments didn't tax alcoholic beverages much or at all, since it was assumed that taxing alcoholic beverages would cause social unrest. Taxing alcoholic beverages would have also greatly increased the mortality rate in the cities, since there was no safe drinking water in the cities. As a result, only imported brandy and wine for the upper classes was taxed. It was really the 19th century reformers who were trying to help the urban poor with schools, good water and drainage systems and minimum wage laws who pushed for excise taxes on gin and ale in order to reduce drinking. They reasoned that once cities had proper water treatment systems and tea became more affordable (it was an expensive luxury in England until about the 1840s), there was no reason for drinking so much ale or gin, and people would be better off without it.

That same alcohol friendly culture existed here in Canada, or at least here in the Province of Ontario. My father told me old tales he'd heard from his grandfather about country stores having large barrels of (excise tax free) whisky and a dipper. Anyone who came into the store and bought something could take a free drink of whisky from the barrel. Attempts to impose excise duties on whiskey in Canada in the 1870s resulted in riots. Apparently, most people felt that they could accept a tax on anything else as long as whiskey wasn't taxed. That attitude did change quite a bit, to the extent that by the 1920s Canada was experimenting with alcohol prohibition, but prohibition was never really accepted by most people. When someone came to my grandparent's door asking them to sign a petition to prevent the repeal of prohibition, my grandfather asked the man whether he was working for the Methodist preachers or for the bootleggers.
 
The same was certainly true in southern Mediterranean countries. Families made their own wine (and olive oil); many still do today if they have even a patch of ground somewhere. The difference, I think, is that most home made wine in Italy, for instance, has a very low alcohol rate. Also, although children were traditionally allowed to drink wine, usually it was mixed with water...what we call "baptized" wine.

A lot of wine is certainly consumed in Italy, the European country I know best, but it's not abused at the rates present in some other countries. I don't know the reason. Certainly, cultural factors are at play. Traditionally, to be visibly drunk just wasn't considered acceptable behavior, not even among men, and I can't even imagine a situation where women consumed a lot of alcohol. If a behavior is not tolerated in a society, you're just not going to get very much of it.

Something else has to be at play, however. I've always been struck by the differences between alcohol consumption in Italy versus France. In both countries, wine is consumed from a very young age. Yet, France consumes more per capita, and has more of a problem with alcoholism.

You would think, considering how much alcohol affects society, that there would be a better understanding of the genetic factors at play, but there isn't . Very few studies, and even those contradict one another.

Anyway, for what it's worth, this is a map of alcoholism related deaths and disorders by country that was put out by the World Health Association.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alcohol_use_disorders_world_map_-_DALY_-_WHO2004.svg
 
There definitely must be cultural factors at work. I notice the really high rate of alcoholism in Russia, which is probably caused by the fact that all those people have to live in Russia. Although I imagine it could be quite a nice place if they ever got a few decades of good governance.
 
The same was certainly true in southern Mediterranean countries. Families made their own wine (and olive oil); many still do today if they have even a patch of ground somewhere. The difference, I think, is that most home made wine in Italy, for instance, has a very low alcohol rate. Also, although children were traditionally allowed to drink wine, usually it was mixed with water...what we call "baptized" wine.

Anyway, for what it's worth, this is a map of alcoholism related deaths and disorders by country that was put out by the World Health Association.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alcohol_use_disorders_world_map_-_DALY_-_WHO2004.svg

Here is the European part of this map. Interestingly it correlates with ANE admixture and its SW-NE cline. Also in both cases Hungary sticks out there in the middle.
Alcoholizm and death..JPG
Below is my ANE map, keep in mind that many countries were guesses for lack of data. I guessed portugal to be equal to Spain, but it might be higher in ANE than Spain due to first IE settlements there to the West of Iperia and Swabians from Germany. It would correlate with higher alcohol/deaths for Portugal vs Spain.
ANE map.jpg
It might be the case that people with most EEF handles alcohol better than people with a lot of ANE. We might need farmers genes to handle alcohol in more "civilized" way.


Something else has to be at play, however. I've always been struck by the differences between alcohol consumption in Italy versus France. In both countries, wine is consumed from a very young age. Yet, France consumes more per capita, and has more of a problem with alcoholism.
I'm interested if South France handles alcohol more like Italy and Spain, and North France is more drunk in general.

You would think, considering how much alcohol affects society, that there would be a better understanding of the genetic factors at play, but there isn't . Very few studies, and even those contradict one another.
We know about alcohol digesting enzimas and related genes. I'm not sure but probably gene duplications should play valid role too, as more enzimes would suggest faster alcohol methabolizm therefore recovery.
Also there are studies pointing to genetics in alcohol or other drugs dependence. Whether a drug is addictive on a person or not.
Alcohol dependence and dependence on other drugs frequently co-occur, and strong evidence suggests
that both disorders are, at least in part, influenced by genetic factors. Indeed, studies using twins
suggest that the overlap between dependence on alcohol and on other drugs largely results from shared
genetic factors.
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh312/111-118.pdf
I would also guess that other genes could be in play, genes that making a person feeling so much pleasure from alcohol to strongly desire more till passing out.
 
What do you think regarding this novel idea..I just found it earlier by accident. Talk about putting a new spin on something.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...-alcohol-not-bake-bread-claims-scientist.html
From the link:
Man is thought to have first settled to grow crops for food 10,000 years ago

But some scientists say it was brewing that drove agriculture
Beer provided early farmers with a number of benefits, experts say

If not true, it is certainly intriguing. Maybe one of 4 of known independent farming cultures started with booze but not all. Plus brewing takes a very different process than milling wheat for flour and baking bread.
There are also a very old finds from around the globe pointing to the fact that hunter-gatherers added wheat seeds to their boiled "soups". Therefore I'm sure people known wheat as edible product first, before they made alcohol out of it.

PS. Thanks to your article I've found the culture which I'm suspecting of having women the first farmers, the Natufian Culture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natufian_culture
The Natufian culture /nəˈtjfiən/ was an Epipaleolithic culture that existed from 13,000 to 9,800 B.C.
Sickle blades appear for the first time. The characteristic sickle-gloss shows that they have been used to cut the silica-rich stems of cereals and form an indirect proof for incipient agriculture
Wow, the first Sickle!
 
There definitely must be cultural factors at work. I notice the really high rate of alcoholism in Russia, which is probably caused by the fact that all those people have to live in Russia. Although I imagine it could be quite a nice place if they ever got a few decades of good governance.

And climate factor too. Muhammad forbade alcohol, but climatic factors in Arabia are not suitable, especially for spirits. On the other hand general opinion is that people need alcohol to survive the cold weather in the northern areas.
 

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