By Dara Boyle
16% of drinkers in Ireland binge drink at least once a week, figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have revealed.
This figure was released as part of the findings of the Irish Health Survey 2015, which were released by the CSO in November.
Alcohol Action Ireland defines binge drinking as having ‘six or more standard drinks in one session, which is the equivalent of three or more pints of beer or six or more pub measures of spirits’.
Phrased differently, drinking six ‘units’ or more of alcohol in a single session qualifies as binge drinking. About half a pint of 4.5% beer is one unit.
The survey also revealed that a further 21% of drinkers consume this much alcohol in one sitting ‘at least once a month.’
Drinkaware.ie recommends that men should not regularly consume more than three to four units of alcohol a day, while women should not regularly exceed two to three units. It is advised that neither men nor women take in more than 14 units per week.
A recent statement posted on the Drinkaware website is critical of the culture of heavy drinking in Ireland. “Three people die every day from alcohol-related conditions; the World Health Organisation found Ireland to have the second-highest rate of binge drinking in the world; our young people are drinking more on single occasions than their European counterparts,” it said.
Overall, 81% of respondents to the Health Survey said they drank at least some alcohol.
The Health Survey provides numerous other insights into different aspects of the health of the nation. A total of 22% of respondents were smokers. In all, 35% were overweight while a further 18% were classified as obese. Of those surveyed, 42% said they ate five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Overall, 42% of people said that they believed their own health was ‘good’, with 41% saying it was ‘very good’.