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Forums » Archive » Canadians drinking less, but alcohol binges a concern 
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Joined: 11/6/2003
Posts: 24
Posted on Friday, December 26, 2003 3:29:00 PM

Since the mid-1980s, total consumption of alcohol per person in Canada has been steadily declining, but there is growing concern over alcohol abuse and binge drinking among young adults.

"Canada is similar to most industrialized countries. Consumption rose but then in the beginning of the 1980s it started to decline and it has been declining for about 20 years," says Dr. Raul Caetano, a professor of epidemiology and an assistant dean of public health at the University of Texas in Dallas. "The decrease in alcohol consumption is very good news, although we are not quite sure why it is happening."

He says Canadian adults consume an average 83 litres of alcohol a year, with beer the number one alcoholic beverage, followed by spirits and wine. The greatest consumption is among men between the ages of 18 and 35 years. "This, of course, is the group that is most involved in alcohol-related trauma and motor vehicle accidents. But once people age they in general decrease their alcohol consumption."

Caetano estimates 20 to 50 per cent of all emergency room patients who are treated for trauma are under the influence of alcohol.

Studies have shown binge drinking may be the greatest contributor to deaths and injuries. Almost all studies suggest that for adults who drink alcohol, moderate consumption of one or two drinks a day is best.

Jьrgen Rehm, a professor of public health sciences at the University of Toronto and senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, says alcohol is responsible for about 10 per cent of the overall disease burden in Canada. About half of all alcohol-related deaths involve accidents or trauma and 20 per cent are due to cancers.

Rehm says drinking alcohol with food is less detrimental to health than drinking alcohol without consuming food.

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Forums » Archive » Canadians drinking less, but alcohol binges a concern 
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