Britain officially the 'binge-drinking capital of Europe'

New research reveals that while Britons are not the EU's most regular drinkers, they drink the most at one sitting...

Marie Claire news
Marie Claire news

New research reveals that while Britons are not the EU's most regular drinkers, they drink the most at one sitting...

Britain is the binge-drinking capital of Europe, with 12 per cent of the population admitting they have up to ten drinks in a single night out, according to new research. A Europe-wide study found that although the British are not the EU's most regular drinkers - only consuming alcohol an average of four times a week - they drink the most at one sitting.

The disturbing findings expose the failure of 24-hour drinking laws, introduced five years ago in the hope of creating a more continental-style café culture. The research, by pollsters Eurobarometer, found British drinkers consume more in one session than any other of the EU's 27 nations. Only the Maltese and the Finnish could match the quantity of drink consumed at a single sitting, with one in ten drinking the same quantity as the British.

And only two out of ten Britons said they had consumed no alcohol at all in the past 12 months, compared to double that number in Portugal, Italy and Hungary.

The study also found the countries that drank the least also drank the most frequently. Italians and Portuguese had the greatest tendency to drink little and often, with six out of ten people in both countries saying they drank up to two glasses every day of the week.

The study comes as Home Office figures show crime and disorder caused by binge drinking is costing the taxpayer between eight and 13 billion pounds a year.

A spokesman for Eurobarometer in Brussels said: ‘Europe is the region with the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the world, and Britain tops the league for the largest volumes drank in single sessions. The high level of drinking brings with it a high level of harm, in the form of social disorder and injury.'

The survey was commissioned by the European Commission and was carried out TNS Opinion, who interviewed 18,000 people across Europe over the past three months.


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