Cook Islands World’s Worst Binge Drinkers: WHO 

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Cook Islands World’s Worst Binge Drinkers: WHO Statistics say 2 out 3 ‘drinkers’ binge weekly

By Emmanuel Samoglou

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, April 30, 2014)– Statistics released by the World Health Organisation have been picked up by several American news outlets that have analysed the data and reported a number of findings, including what appears to be an unquenchable thirst for booze in the Cooks.

According to data – which can be found online on the WHO’s website – two out of three "drinkers" in the country binge at least once a week.

A "drinker" is defined by the organisation as someone who has at least one alcoholic drink over a 12 month period. That would include the friendly Papa next door who enjoys a cold Steinlager once a year.

Following the Cooks are Tunisia and Ireland; with Russia and the United States further down the list.

"In the Cook Islands — a speck of a nation isolated in the Pacific Ocean — nearly half of all men binge drink, according to the WHO. That’s worse than Ireland," reads an article on

The nation’s males aren’t the only ones at the top of the WHO data.

Almost 18 per cent of women in the Cook Islands are said to be binge drinkers, with 38 per cent of those binging once every seven days.

Those numbers put the ladies in fourth place globally in terms of weekly binging among drinkers, with the African nations of Zambia and South Africa on top, and Pacific neighbour Tonga ranked at number three.

Binge drinking, alternatively described as "heavy episodic drinking", is described by the WHO as the proportion of adult drinkers over 15 years of age who have had at least 60 grams or more of pure alcohol – or six standard alcoholic drinks - on at least one occasion over a seven day period.

The data also appears to show some interesting findings.

In Vietnam – which is described as the fastest growing market for beer in the world – women drinkers are more likely to binge then men.

Also, women who choose to drink in Muslim-majority countries including; Turkey, Egypt and Malaysia, are shown to consume more alcohol on a weekly basis than American women.

Less than three per cent of Australia’s drinkers, both male and female, were recorded as binging once a week.

New Zealanders – also known to be prolific drinkers – were not included in the data. According to the Health Promotion Agency, the country exhibits a "culture of drinking", while accepting drunkenness as "socially acceptable".

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