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Monday, July 18, 2011

Press Release - Chinese culture encourages binge drinking in middle aged men

A nationwide study confirms that binge drinking has reached epidemic proportions in China and argues that efforts to tackle the problem must address the country’s unique drinking culture.

In this study, published online today in the journal Addiction, binge drinking was defined as consuming 50g or more pure alcohol in one day for men (about five 330ml tins of beer), and 40g or more for women. The study found that of the almost 50,000 people surveyed across China, 55.6% of men and 15% of women were current drinkers, having had at least one drink in the previous twelve months. Among current drinkers, men averaged a daily intake of 47.8 grams of pure alcohol, with a median of 5.6 binges per year. Women fared a bit better, with an average daily intake of 19.1g and a median of 2.4 binges per year. 26% of male drinkers and 8% of female drinkers were classed as ‘frequent drinkers’, drinking 5-7 days per week.

So among Chinese people who drink, the average man regularly drinks to just below binge level and has a true binge about once every two months. The average woman drinks to excessive levels (above 15g per day) and binges about once every 5 months.

What makes China unique among other heavy drinking countries is that drinking frequency, quantity, and binge drinking increase with age. The heaviest Chinese drinkers are middle-aged or beyond, while drinking levels in other countries tend to peak in people’s late teens and early twenties. > > > > Read More