ZIMBABWE and South Africa are ranked first in Africa and third in the world as having the “riskiest” drinkers, with men and women in the country ranking among the top 10 heaviest drinkers in the continent.
A report in the Washington Post of 25 April ranks Zimbabwean men and women 6th and 7th respectively as Africa’s top drinkers.
According to the report, which quoted latest data obtained from the United Nations, Zimbabwe and its southern neighbour have the highest alcohol-attributable disease burdens in the world after Russia and Ukraine.
On a scale of one to five, Zimbabwe scored four points, the same points as South Africa, while Russia and Ukraine scored five points to rank first.
The report further suggested that in 2005 Zimbabwean men each gulped 9-7 gallons of alcohol and that 20 percent of women in Zimbabwe binge at least once a week, to rank 7th in the continent beating Senegal, Congo and Chad.
Zambia and South Africa, both sit at the top, with 41,2 percent women who binge, while Burkina Faso which has 36,8 percent and Mozambique with 32,9 percent are ranked third and fourth respectively. Nigeria takes up the fifth spot with 24,7 percent while Namibia takes 6th spot with 20,8 percent.
At least 39 percent of Zimbabwean men are heavy drinkers, to rank 7th as Africa’s heaviest imbibers.
Tunisia, which is believed to have an ultra religious population surprisingly ranks first in Africa with 57 percent of its men binge drinking at least once a week, followed by Burkina Faso which has 49,9 percent.
Zambia and South Africa are third with 48,1 percent of their men categorised as heavy drinkers, while Mozambique and Chad ranked fifth and sixth with 46,7 and 39,7 percent of their men binge drinking respectively.
The Washington Post also argues that binge drinking plays a part in world events using Britain, as an example, where cases of violence fell by about 12 percent to about 235 000 over the past year, because of booze or lack of it.
Though the decrease mirrors trends across the Western world, The Washington posts says tough economic times might have meant fewer pints. “Binge drinking has become less frequent, and the proportion of youth who don’t drink alcohol at all has risen sharply,” explained lead researcher Jonathan Shepherd. “For people most prone to involvement in violence … falls in disposable income are probably an important factor.”
According to Delta Beverages, 2012 financial results Zimbabwe consumed 198,1 million hectolitres of lager and 335,4 million hectolitres of opaque (millet) beer.