Wine consumption growth in Vietnam

Though Vietnamese people's average income stands 8th among 10 Asian nations, it is ranked the first in consuming beer and wine in the Southeast Asian region and ranked third in the Asia behind China and Japan.

According to a report of the Ministry of Health, wine consumption in the country grow drastically. For instance, from 2003 to 2005, each Vietnamese people drank an average of 3.8 liters of wine a year, the amount raised to 6.6 liter currently while the average consumption of beer and wine in the world has not increased in the last ten years, at around 6.2 liters (using wine as the unit) per capita per annum.

Health agencies' survey showed that more than 50 percent Vietnamese men often drink beer or wine. Men alone consume 27.4 liter yearly, increasing four fold the world. Survey also pointed out that with current consumption, people drink 3 billion liters of beer and 68 million liters of wine.

Drastic wine growth means the country will spend US$3 billion on beer, nearly equivalent to 3 percent of the whole country's state budget collection while wine business just pay VND16 trillion (US$740,640,000). Worse, rampant wine consumption caused bad consequences on health condition and society.

As per the Institute of Health Strategy and Policy's report, wine/ beer is one of direct causes for 40 diseases and indirect causes of 200 different diseases. Up to 4.4 percent of Vietnamese people have diseases such as cancer, cirrhosis, heart problems, hepatitis, gastric lesions due to drinking  bear or wine.

According to the World Health Organization, just 2 percent to 8 percent of the alcohol a person drink leaves his body in urine, breath, and perspiration. The remaining will be absorbed in kidney and liver. The liver produces enzymes that break down alcohol so your body can absorb it.

The liver can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol at one time. Moreover, wine or beer is one of ten leading reasons to cause deaths in the world, much more than HIV/AIDS-related fatalities.

Drunkenness leads to family violence, social disorder and traffic accidents. Up to 60 percent of traffic accidents happened due to drunk drivers; 68 percent family violence and 38 social disorder are caused by drunk people.

One of reasons leading to increased wine consumption in the country is advertising and loose wine management.

Clearly, the government should have measures to tighten wine business to limit social evils due to alcohol consumption.

By Khanh Nguyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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