New European study finds that the Irish drink the most overall

So, it's no secret that we Irish like the odd drink or two, but how much alcohol are we actually consuming compared to our European counterparts?

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) collaborated with colleagues from more than 40 European countries, and have finally come up with a clear answer.

As part of the  European Social Survey, a large study conducted every two years in around 30 European countries, researchers asked almost 2000 participant's questions based on their health, lifestyle and drinking habits.

Rather unsurprisingly, the Irish were found to drink the most overall, while Portugal and Britain topped the list when it came to binge-drinking. 

Terje Andreas Eikemo, professor of sociology at NTNU, explained how these findings will help identify the measures that need to be taken in order to curb alcohol consumption. 

"In the past, we could say that drinking alcohol and smoking affect people's health, for example. Now we can go farther back in the causal chain, and identify where measures should be taken." 

The study also confirmed a link between social status and excessive alcohol consumption.

"Overall alcohol consumption is highest in the upper social strata, but binge drinking is most common in the lower social strata,'' he explains.

What's more, European men were found to have consumed almost twice as many units of alcohol as women, with women in Israel and Central and Eastern Europe found to drink the least.

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