According to the study “Prevent Harmful Use of Alcohol”, the average in Portugal considers people aged 15 or over and the 12 litres of pure alcohol consumed are the equivalent of two and a half bottles of wine or 4.6 litres of beer per week.
According to the analysis carried out in 52 countries, “men consume 19.4 litres of pure alcohol per capita per year, while women consume 5.6 litres”.
Among OECD countries, the average consumption is 10 litres of pure alcohol per person per year.
According to the study released on 19 May, excessive alcohol consumption will have an impact on health and average life expectancy.
Over the next 30 years, it is estimated that Portuguese will see the average life expectancy reduced by one year, “due to illnesses and injuries caused by the daily consumption” of more than one drink per day, in case of women, and more than a drink and a half a day for men, warned the same report.
According to the same study, based on current consumption patterns in Portugal, the OECD predicts that illnesses and injuries caused by excessive alcohol consumption will result in a 2.3 percent increase in health expenses and a reduction in productivity in the work place.
The study indicates that in Portugal “26.6 percent of adults get drunk at least once a month”.
The same analysis stresses that “13 percent of girls and 14 percent of boys aged 15 years” have already been drunk at least twice in their life, while it is accentuated that children who have never experienced drunkenness are 26 percent more likely to have a good performance in school.
It is also mentioned that women with higher education are, in 80 percent of the cases, more prone to excessive consumption of alcohol once a month.
The OECD study considers that there is a good performance in Portugal in some areas to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, but suggests the reinforcement of some of these measures to combat excessive consumption.
In Portugal, the price of alcoholic beverages is considered low, so it is recommended to set minimum prices, reads the study.
According to the study “Preventing the Harmful Use of Alcohol”, Portugal should invest €1.60 per citizen in a set of measures to combat the excessive use of alcohol, in order to prevent by 2050 “542,000 thousand diseases and injuries”, “save €45 million a year in health care costs” and increase employment and productivity by the equivalent of 6,000 full-time workers a year.
“For every euro invested in this package of measures, €16 will be returned in benefits, without considering any impact on the alcohol industry”, highlighted the report.