The UK’s worst addictions – With many people across the globe having recently made New Year’s resolutions, and many now struggling to keep them, a new study looks at the most addicted countries. The UK placed sixth in the study, with an index score of 60.32, and ranked highly for tea-addiction, drug-addiction and sugar-addiction.
Experts at Go Smoke Free analysed factors such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and screen time across 200 countries; the study examined the latest data from sources including the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the National Library of Medicine.
This southeastern European country, famous for the Gothic region of Transylvania, is the most addicted nation, with the highest score of 66.79. Romania’s most prevalent addictive behaviour is alcohol consumption, with the highest intake per capita of any country at 16.99 litres per adult each year. Romania also ranks in the top ten for antibiotic consumption, with an average of 28.50 Defined Daily Doses consumed per 100,000 people each day.
The second-highest score, at 63.40, belongs to Latvia, whose landscape is marked by wide beaches and forests and, like Romania, enjoys its alcohol. The Baltic state ranks in the top five for alcohol intake, with an average annual consumption of 13.09 litres per adult. Latvia also makes the top ten for online gambling addiction, with 0.35% of Latvia’s GDP coming from online gambling.
Stereotypically laidback, Australia is known for its supposedly relaxed culture, and the data appears to back this up as the Land Down Under has the third-highest score at 62.28. Australia topped the rankings for most sex-addicted country, with a score of 360.14. Factors used to create this score included the number of sexual partners per year and the mean age virginity was lost; Australia’s results were 13 partners per year and 18 years old.
Australia also ranked as the third most gambling-addicted and drug-addicted country, with 0.54% of the country’s GDP coming from gambling and 2.17 cases of drug use disorder per 100 people.
Just missing out on the bronze medal is France, with a score of 61.43. Despite being known for producing some of the finest wines in the world, the French aren’t giving into temptation and drinking it all – they’re drinking plenty of coffee instead. France ranks in the top ten countries for its coffee consumption, with 537,000 tonnes of the addictive stimulant being imported each year.
5. United States
The home of Starbucks has an overall score of 60.80 and takes the top spot for most addicted to coffee, importing a staggering 2,185,000 tonnes annually. Caffeine appears to be popular with Americans as they also have the second-highest import quantity of tea, at 189,000 tonnes per year.
6. United Kingdom
The birthplace of Cadbury chocolate, Rowntree’s sweets, and Hartley’s Jam, the Brits have certainly developed a sweet tooth and the annual sugar imports can attest to it; the UK has the fourth-highest sugar import quantity at 2,844,000 tonnes, and the sixth-highest addiction score at 60.32. The UK is also the fourth most drug-addicted nation, with 2 drug use disorder cases per 100 people.
Living up to its reputation as the nation of tea drinkers, the UK is the fourth most tea-addicted country, with 110,000 tonnes imported each year. It also appears that the people of the UK have a taste for meat as it ranks as the fifth most meat-addicted country, with 2,202,000 tonnes imported annually.
Chile, also known as ‘El Largo’ owing to its long and narrow shape, has a score of 59.57. The Chileans have proven themselves industrious people, ranking third highest for annual average hours worked, with 1,962.80 hours per person. The world’s leading producer of copper also has a strong interest in social media, ranking in the top ten countries for percentage of the population actively engaging with social media, at 84.40%.
The Land of the Storks has a score of 59.53 and makes the top ten for alcohol consumption, with the average adult drinking 11.79 litres annually. Located in the Baltic region of Europe, Lithuania is keen on online gambling as this income accounts for 0.47% of the country’s GDP.
Known for its production of rose oil in the famed Rose Valley and its scenic Black Sea coast, Bulgaria has a score of 58.27. The Balkan nation enjoys its nicotine, with 39% of the population being smokers. Bulgaria enjoys a drink or two as its second-highest addictive behaviour is alcohol consumption, with 11.92 litres consumed per adult each year.
10. Czech Republic
Rounding off the top ten, with a score of 57.51, is the Czech Republic. Also known as Czechia, the country enjoys indulging in its world-famous beer, with the average adult drinking 11.79 litres of alcohol annually. Home to the historic capital and tourist hotspot, Prague, the Czech Republic also has a penchant for technology, as 75.9% of internet users play video games and 76.9% of the population are active social media users.
A spokesperson from Go Smoke Free commented on the findings: “With New Year’s resolutions having just been made, it will be interesting to see how well these addicted countries do at sticking to them. Now is the time for a fresh start and to break these habits.”
“Many of the top ten countries are high GDP countries, suggesting that those with higher incomes are able to afford to fuel their highly addictive behaviours, and are therefore more likely to become hooked.”