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Britons 'among world's biggest drinkers'

19 May 2017 08:16

Experts have warned over the amount Britons are drinking

Experts have warned over the amount Britons are drinking

Many Britons are increasing their risk of developing diseases like cancer by drinking too much alcohol, experts have suggested.

New data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that people in the UK are among the world's biggest drinkers. Over the course of 2016, the average Briton drank almost double the global average.

Above-average consumption

The average level of alcohol consumption last year was 6.4 litres of pure alcohol per person aged 15 years or older across the globe. But the UK average is thought to have been 12.3 litres.

Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have similar levels of drinking as the UK. In fact, only 11 other nations saw higher alcohol consumption than Britain - namely Estonia, Ukraine, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Moldova, Belarus and Lithuania.

The largest volume of consumption was found in Lithuania, at 18.2 litres of alcohol.

Health implications

Alcohol can increase people's risk of getting various diseases - with cancer among them.

And Rachel Clark, health promotions manager at the World Cancer Research Fund, described the latest WHO data as "worrying".

She said: " Alcohol is highly dangerous and increases the risk of many different health conditions including several cancers. In fact, if no one drank alcohol in the UK, around 24,000 cancer cases could be prevented every year.

"If people do decide to drink then it's important for them to be aware of the dangers of alcohol so that they can make conscious decisions to reduce their consumption. People should drink no more than the Government's recommended limit of 14 units a week, which is roughly equal to seven drinks, spread over at least three days."

People can develop cancer for many reasons, with drinking just one potential factor. Those living with the condition can seek medical travel insurance when heading abroad to safeguard their health while they're away from home.