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The Global Movement To Reduce Alcoholism

As we all know, the issue of alcoholism extends far beyond the United States. In fact, on a global scale, drinking takes more than 3 million lives a year. So now, The World Health Organization (also known as WHO) is initiating a movement to reduce beer, wine and spirit consumption across the world.

Forbes recently covered this ambitious program, starting their article off with a list of how many regions are plagued by alcoholism. The United States ranked 48th out of 191 countries when it came to booze consumption. The overall leaders, though, were listed as France (and most of Europe), Canada and Chile. Regions in Africa were called out as well.

To combat these growing problems, WHO has pushed for changes across all of the major countries in the world. Labeled WHA63, their strategy highlights multiple key policy options and interventions to change drinking behaviors.

In a document on the WHO site, key parameters were outlined. The primary being, “The goal of WHA63 is to ensure that implementation of a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol strengthens the national efforts to protect at-risk populations, young people and those affected by harmful drinking of others.”

One area that Forbes chose to highlight was the initiative to bring down DUI accidents. Across Europe (and in even some parts of America), WHO’s push to lower blood alcohol limits on drivers has been acknowledged. Reps have urged cities to reduce their count to .04%, which has led to decreases from the previous .08% arrest counts in years prior.

There have also been efforts to raise the prices of alcohol and make it less accessible to the population at large. Wine, for instance, has begun getting marked up in countries like France and it is believed that the WHO movement has been partially responsible.

France happens to be one of the countries which has the largest per capita wine consumption count and, per the Forbes article, they have seen some numbers go down since the WHO campaign took effect.

“Two glasses of wine daily has traditionally been the recommendation for French women and three for French men,” Forbes writer Thomas Pellechia explained. “The new initiative appears to reduce the recommendation to a blanket ten glasses per week divided by seven days. That’s a far cry from the first major effort to reduce French drinking in the 1950s; then, the recommendation was no more than a liter per meal.”

So while we don’t expect drastic changes to come out of this movement, even a small dent is encouraging. And we certainly applaud all of the hard work that WHO is doing. Click Here to learn more about their efforts.