Alcohol Consumption On The Rise

Alcohol Consumption On The Rise

by REACH Singapore

11 Oct 2018 03:44PM

Last month, the World Health Organisation said that alcohol kills three million people worldwide every year, with men particularly at risk.

In its latest report on alcohol and health, the United Nations agency noted that alcohol causes more than one in 20 deaths globally each year, including from drink-driving accidents, alcohol-induced violence and illnesses such as liver cirrhosis and some cancers.

The report also found that alcohol abuse makes people more susceptible to contagious illnesses such as pneumonia and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

For their article on alcohol abuse here, the media spoke with healthcare experts. Dr Reina Lim, a consultant at Singapore General Hospital's Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, said that people here have shown a growing interest in alcohol as Singapore becomes more prosperous.

"The per capital alcohol consumption in Singapore has nearly trebled from 2005 to 2015. It is estimated that at least 4.3 per cent of males and 0.8 per cent of females regularly drink alcohol, which is more than four times a week," he added.

A study released in 2016 estimated the prevalence of binge drinking in Singapore to be 9.6 per cent of the population.

Dr Lim said: "Binge drinking is harmful. It is commonly defined as consuming five or more standard drinks in males (and four or more in females) in a single occasion."

Dr Lim said that while some studies have shown light-to-moderate alcohol intake can benefit the heart, a consensus has not been reached.
"In my expert opinion, when it comes to alcohol, the key is moderation," he said.

"Certainly, you don't have to drink any alcohol. If you currently don't drink, don't start drinking for the possible health benefits. And if you are already drinking alcohol regularly, keep it within the safe limits."

Source: “Alcohol abuse worse among younger people” (The Straits Times, 9 Oct 2018)

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