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Ever heard San Pedro is a drinking town with a little diving problem.

Belize Has A Drinking Problem
Channel 7 Belize


Adults drink when someone is born, when someone is married, and even when someone dies - truly, drinking is a Belizean past time. But now, results of a Gender Alcohol and Culture Survey released make it clear just how much Belizeans are drinking. The survey was conducted in July of 2005 by the Central Statistical Office. 2,400 households were sampled and members of each were asked about a hundred questions. The answers might surprise you. Keith Swift tells you what they are.

Keith Swift Reporting,
According to the survey, one out of every three Belizeans is a drinker. And by a drinker it refers to persons who have more than 3 drinks a day.

Dr. Claudina Cayetano, Ministry of Health
"There is heavy drinking happening in the country and the fact that we always knew that men tend to drink more than women but women are drinking. The most drink is a beer for both genders, so you see that beer gets 29%, stout is second at 15%, and then liquor is the third drink that is quite common."

But more than just the type of drink - where you drink is also important. The survey revealed that people in Stann Creek and Belize Districts drink more than those in say - Toledo or Corozal.

Dr. Claudina Cayetano,
"What we find is that we find that people drinking three or more times a week is much more higher in the urban than in the rural areas. We also find that certain districts, in the Belize District and in the Stann Creek District, you have a little bit more drinking."

And that probably explains why Creoles and Garifunas drink more than Mestizos or Mayas. But more than race and locality, Doctora Cayetano says how much you make also might affect how much you drink.

Dr. Claudina Cayetano,
"You find that people with less capability, their income is quite low but they tend to be able to afford alcohol. So alcohol becomes a commodity for them, it is part of their living. And the less educated tend to also consume more alcohol and perhaps they use it to cope with stress, to relieve anxiety. But those were the findings, the higher the education, they were drinking much less compared to the one that has no level of education."

Doctora Claudina Cayetano works with the Ministry of Health and she spearheaded the survey along with the Central Statistical Office. According to Cayetano there is drinking and then there is binge drinking. You are a binge drinker when you drink more than 5 drinks on any given day.

Dr. Claudina Cayetano,
"When people start drink, they don't stay with one or two drinks, so binge drinking is considered more than five drinks. So we are talking about approximately fifty something grams that they are drinking of ethanol and that definitely is going to change your perception, it is going to change your mood - it is going to have an impact on you as an individual so that is a binge, that is not a responsible way of drinking it. It is a hazardous manner of drinking."

Keith Swift,
So if I am at a club and I am drinking and I am dancing and I drink more than five beers I am on a binge?

Dr. Claudina Cayetano,
"Yes more than five, that is the definition that is used for binge drinking."

And Cayetano says there are consequences for those who binge drink. More often than not that includes domestic violence.

Dr. Claudina Cayetano,
"People didn't realize that one of the consequences to their drink was finances, more men admitted that alcohol consumption affects their finances, affects their relationships at home, affects their relations with their children and with their friends. It is important to realize that that because you know that women do suffer when the partner drinks but it is doubled if they themselves are also drinking, the impact on the family is quite heavier."

So what to do? Well Karen Bodden who works with the national drug abuse control council says drinking is a Belizean past-time that should be left in the past.

Karen Bodden, NDACC
"Your grandparents were never out of cashew wine, sorrel wine, berries wine - so we grew up in a culture that says it is okay to drink. And while we are not saying contrary to that at this point, we are saying now that an awareness needs to accompany that attitude and so it has always been a Belizean past time."

Now with these figures it will be left to seen if Belizeans will be able to leave it in past.

It wasn't mentioned in the story but an important statistic is that 80% of those in the survey said that when they are drinking, they don't use a condom if they engage in sexual activity. As for the binge drinking, it occurs with about six out of every ten drinkers. The Ministry of Health will use the data from the survey to develop a national alcohol policy


Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net
Joined: Nov 2002
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Thank-god that we at Pedro's are not binge drinkers -I was getting worried -no-one who comes here ever drinks more than six drinks
example-one bottle of jager = one drink
one case of beer = one drink
one coca cola = 10 drinks

Last edited by Pedro1; 12/22/06 03:38 PM.
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Posts: 4,294
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ahhhhhhhhhhhh!


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