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Britons among EU worst for binge drinking

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by In collaboration with PA Media Group | News

1 June 2006

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The UK has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in the EU, according to groundbreaking research by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS).

The UK is rated third in the list of binge-drinking European countries, behind only Finland and Ireland.

Alcohol is one of the worst public health problems in Europe and alongside tobacco is a leading preventable cause of cancers.

The study is the first of its kind, and has led to the IAS calling for governments to do more to curb alcohol abuse, such as increasing taxation and limiting access.

Health experts have warned that the health benefits of alcohol have often been overstated, and that it only protects against heart attacks among the over 50s.

Men should drink no more than three units of alcohol a day and women should drink no more than two.

One pint of premium lager (five per cent alcohol) contains three units and a 175ml glass of wine (11 or 12 per cent alcohol) contains two.

UK citizens binge-drink on average once every 13 days, four times higher than in Italy.

Across the EU healthcare for alcohol-related illnesses is estimated to cost £125 billion (£85 billion) every year.

For more information on alcohol and cancer, see Cancer Research UK’s Healthy Living page