Tee(n)totallers lead lower alcohol consumption

There is a long-term transition towards lower alcohol consumption in developed countries, writes Simon Kuper in the FT. In countries like France, this already started over half a century ago (halved since then from 25 glasses a week in 1961), in others, like the UK and Russia, it started more recently. Generation Z is clearly leading the trend into moderate or even complete abstinence from alcohol, to become ‘tee(n)-totallers’. But also their health-conscious middle-class parents increasingly turn from routine towards moderate drinking (less than 14 glasses a week). And that is an excellent choice: whereas the dangers of moderate drinking are scarcely discernible, these grow exponentially with every extra glass taken. Still, a sizeable group is drinking so much that they are ‘courting with death’, as Kuper puts it, and lead premature deaths around the world. There is another interesting shift visible: traditional wine countries like France, Italy and Spain massively turn to beer whereas traditional European beer countries drink more and more wine instead. It will not be surprising that if people decide to drink less and more conscious, they opt for higher quality and higher priced drinks. Quality for quantity (although many youngsters substituted alcohol for other soft drugs).

Read more on the The Financial Times - How much should we really drink?

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