Last week, the World Health Organization released its massive Global Status Report On Alcohol and Health 2011. It's a fascinating read that breaks down the drinking habits of most of the countries in the world, along with morbidity rates and other fun stats. But for our purposes, we care about the two greatest countries on Earth: Mexico and the United States. Who can hold their drink better? Which raza is more responsible?
And the answer is: both and neither.
According to the WHO report, per capita consumption of alcohol in the United States was 9.4 pure liters of alcohol, comfortably beating Mexico's rate of 8.4 pure liters. Mexico lost out on the overall drinking crown because an amazing 51.4 percent of its adult population doesn't drink, while 69 percent reported they hadn't touched booze in the past year. Only 17.7 percent of American adults were listed as lifetime abstainers, per the WHO study, while only 34.6 percent hadn't drank in the past year.
But where Mexicans lack in overall domination, they more than make up for it in the amount of liquor their drunks drink. The per-capita consumption of Mexican adults was 27.16 pure liters, which towers over those yanquis' puny take of 14.43 (although Americans slightly beat out Mexis at binge drinking–13 percent of Americans reported themselves as such, as opposed to Mexico's 12.6 percent). And when it comes to cirrhosis of the liver, the true mark of any borracho? No contest–Mexico reported 88.5 deaths per 100,000 population succumbing to the disease in 2005, as opposed to the U.S.'s 19.6 deaths per 100,000.
And it's a lot of drinking Mexis do to attain such heights–78 percent of Mexican alcoholic consumption was beer and 21 percent spirits (wine was less than 1 percent), while Americans favored beer at 53 percent, spirits at 31 percent and fruity wine at 16. Lightweights.
Read the report here.