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Binge-ing in Italy?

A friend once told me that when an Italian drinks too much, they don’t say he’s drunk too much; they say he hasn’t eaten enough food yet. By that standard, the residents of Alto Adige must be famished, because a new study by ISTAT Aspetti Della Vita Quotidiana (Italy’s National Institute of Statistics) has found that nearly 20% of the population of Alto Adige over 11 years old (yes eleven) has participated in binge drinking in the last year (defined as drinking more than 6 alcoholic beverages on a single occasion). Interestingly all of the other heavy-drinking regions of Italy were also in the northern part of the country. By comparison, Sicilians and Campanians were the least likely to drink a lot in one sitting—just 4.1% and 4% of over eleven-year-olds respectively.

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