Allegrini 2018

Alcohol emergency: WHO guidelines to combat a plague that causes 3 million deaths a year

In 2020, the strategies to be adopted by the Member States. Federvini: “do not demonize conscious and moderate consumption”
ALCOHOL, alcohol abuse, CAGIANO, FEDERVINI, UN, who, News
Alcohol abuse is a social and health threat

Alcohol, in the definition of WHO - World Health Organization, is a psychoactive substance with toxic properties and produces addiction, generally consumed as a beverage. In the world, the WHO says, there are 2.3 billion drinkers among the population over 15 years old, against 3.1 billion teetotalers, and although alcohol consumption is widely accepted in many societies, of which it is an integral part of culture and tradition, its abuse is responsible for more than 3 million deaths each year. That’s why, in 2010, the WHO set the goal of combating abuse, aiming at a drop in average consumption of 10% globally by 2025, as part of a much more complex framework, which aims, in 2023, to include in the national health system one billion people worldwide. Ambitious goals, because the damage caused by alcohol abuse are many (there is a health problem, but also social dynamics, security, and of course economic nature) and difficult to isolate and fight, so that the WHO is laying the foundations for the document that will be presented at the World Health Assembly n. 73, on stage in May 2020 in Geneva, with the new guidelines concerning the role of States in the fight against abuse, between prevention and pragmatic choices, starting from those put in place so far, which have given results, such as obstacles to the sale, limits to advertising and taxation of alcohol. These are noble objectives, but they are presuppositions that cannot be shared by everyone, especially by those countries, such as Italy, where wine is a pillar of its culture and economy, and which is already doing a great deal in terms of awareness and the fight against abuse. “In our opinion - explains to WineNews Ottavio Cagiano, director of Federvini - we start from assumptions that are if not wrong, at least far-reaching, because too little weight is given to prevention, demonizing the world of production and keeping it out of the debate with the institutions. There is also a lack of scientific studies that have led to certain numbers, and even the average global consumption, which speaks of 40 grams of alcohol per capita per day, or two glasses of wine, can not be considered a threat to public health.”

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