'More Bingeing, More Teetotallers'

13 February 2015, 12:59

Scots are more likely to binge-drink than people from anywhere else in the UK other than the north-east of England, according to new figures.

However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data for 2013 also shows an increase in the number of Scots who do not drink at all.

More than a fifth - 21% - of Scottish adults surveyed by ONS said they were teetotal.

The proportion of non-drinkers in Scotland was higher than many other parts of the UK, behind only London, the West Midlands and Wales.

But more than a third - 36% - of people living in Scotland who drank at least once in the week before they were surveyed had binged at least once.

This compared to less than a quarter for many other parts of the UK.

Binge-drinking refers to men who reported drinking more than eight units of alcohol on their heaviest drinking day, and women who drank more than six units.

On a UK-wide basis, the ONS figures show that binge-drinking has decreased since 2005, although there has been little change since 2011.

The decline was partly because fewer adults chose to drink alcohol and partly because when people did drink they consumed less, the ONS said.

There was also a rise in the proportion of teetotal 16-to-24-year-olds, increasing from 19% in 2005 to 27% in 2013.

The ONS report said the falls in drinking between 2005 and 2013 ''were a result of changes among younger adults, with little or no change in older groups''.

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