The World Health Organization might want to consider a licensing agreement with the company manufacturing those alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets, since the WHO seems to be doing a better job of monitoring alcohol consumption than some other people. On February 11, the WHO published their global alcohol status report, which showed, among many other things, that the world consumed the equivalent of 6.1 litres per person of pure alcohol in 2005. As you can see by the color-coded map, the highest consumption was in Europe and the former Soviet Union. Moldavians drank the most, followed by Czechs. How did we rank?

Here in the US, we consumed an average of 9.4 liters per person. The WHO, which recorded the information between 2001 and 2005 and considered people 15 years of age and older, ranks this country as having a “stable” pattern of drinking. Guess they didn't target specific areas. Most of the college towns in America, say, or certain nightclubs along the Sunset Strip.

The WHO estimates that alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths a year, more than AIDS or tuberculosis. Perhaps surprisingly, the report notes that “despite widespread consumption, most people do not drink. Almost half of all men and two-thirds of women did not consume alcohol in 2005.” Now if the organization could only match up those demographics, we could have a global Designated Driver system. Just a thought.

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