Oxford Academic Wants WHO To Regulate Booze

By Valerie Tejeda 02/16/12

The World Health Organization should enforce alcohol age laws and limits, argues a global health policy lecturer.

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Dr. Devi Sridhar, a researcher and lecturer at the University of Oxford, England wants the World Health Organization to regulate global alcohol use. “About 2.5 million deaths a year, almost 4 percent of all deaths worldwide, are attributed to alcohol—more than the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria,” she writes in the journal Nature. “The WHO is the only body with the legitimacy and authority to proactively promote health through the use of international law.” Sridhar, who lectures on global health policies, believes that the WHO should view drinking as a global epidemic and wants it to treat alcohol use the same way it treats tobacco use. Back in 2010, the WHO published a document, WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol, listing recommendations to forbid unlimited drinking promotions and put an age minimum on alcohol purchases. Sridhar believes these recommendations should become a legal requirement, and that there should be an international consensus on ways to reduce problematic drinking. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive drinking costs the country billions of dollars in losses for alcohol-related illness, accidents and reductions in workplace productivity.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.