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Brew Nation: Vietnamese Consume 3bln Liters of Beer Each Year

While some raised doubts about a WTO report that found Vietnamese women outdrink Russian (and Vietnamese) men, there’s no question that Vietnam is a country that loves its beer. So much so in fact, that domestic production cannot keep up with demand, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. 

Thanh Nien reports that at a May 7 conference in Hanoi, organized by the Ministry of Health to “discourage unhealthy drinking,” attendees were presented with the latest numbers that found Vietnamese drink more than 3 billion liters of beer a year.

Vu Thi Minh Hanh, deputy director of the Health Strategy and Policy Institute, said that while global consumption of alcoholic drinks hasn't fluctuated much over the past 10 years, "…consumption in Vietnam has increased continuously, especially among young people and women."

According to market survey company Eurowatch, Vietnamese beer consumption stands at 32 liters per capita, “...making the country the top consumer in Southeast Asia, third in Asia (after China and Japan) and 28th in the world.”

In addition to beer, Vietnamese consume more than 68 million liters of alcohol annually, racking up about US$3 billion in annual spending on alcoholic drinks, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The World Health Organization’s representative to Vietnam, Takeshi Kasai, said that “consumption of alcoholic drinks is common among more than 70 percent of Vietnamese men, of which one of every four people drinks at harmful levels.”

Between alcohol, cigarettes and air pollution, the future for Vietnam’s public health is a bit frightening.

But hey, at least we're not obese...yet.

[Thanh Nien // Photo via Aaron Ong]

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