Germans are Europe’s worst binge drinkers with almost one in five believing “the point of drinking is to get drunk,” according to a survey Wednesday.
In the past, Britons have been condemned as the continent’s prime offenders but the Mintel market research survey of 35,000 people painted a different picture.
“Although the Germans may not go drinking as often as the British, when they do drink, many want to get drunk,” said Mintel senior consumer analyst Michelle Strutton.
The survey showed that 17 percent of German adults believe “the point of drinking is to get drunk.” This was twice the proportion of adults in Britain who felt the same way.
“The fact that German adults are seemingly more inclined than the British to get drunk could help ease the British reputation for lavish drinking and an over-indulgent pub culture,” Strutton said.
But the German Brewers’ Association insisted the problem was not widespread.
Its managing director, Peter Hahn, told Reuters: “The majority of Germans are very moderate drinkers. Only a very small percentage don’t know how to drink alcohol sensibly. So-called binge drinkers are a very small minority in Germany.”
“Germany, like Britain, has a culture of beer drinking that dates back for centuries and so we know how to cope with alcohol,” he said.
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.