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It is generally perceived that binge drinking is most prevalent in the Vodka Belt (most of Northern and some of Eastern Europe) and least common in the southern part of the continent, in Italy, France, Portugal and the Mediterranean (the Wine Belt).
Using a "5-drink, 30-days" (5 standard drinks in a row during the last 30 days) definition, Denmark leads European binge drinking, with 60% of 15–16-year-olds reporting participating in this behavior (and 61% reporting intoxication).
This "drinking urgency" may have been inspired by traditional pre-midnight pub closing hours in the UK, whereas bars in continental Europe would typically remain open for the entire night.
This may have stemmed from the Defence of the Realm Act 1914, emergency legislation dating back to the first world war regulating pub opening times with the intention of getting workers out of the pub and into the munitions factories.
Some observers, however, believed it would exacerbate the problem.
This culture is increasingly becoming viewed by politicians and the media as a serious problem that ought to be tackled, partly due to health reasons, but mostly due to its association with violence and anti-social behaviour.
Using a 5-drink, past 30 days definition, 38% of Russian 15–16-year-olds have binged and 27% became intoxicated, a percentage that is on par with other European countries, and even lower than some.
The programme engages youths in events and activities that are close to their lifestyles, focusing on four major platforms – Music, Fashion, Sports and Friends to spread the message of responsible drinking.Consequently, it was criticised for being draconian and denying the working classes their pleasures.This is one of the reasons for introducing the Licensing Act 2003 which came into effect in England and Wales in 2005, and which allows 24 hour licensing (although not all bars have taken advantage of the change).This can be considered a case of binge drinking since most people that attend it consume three to five drinks in less than five hours. One study found that among men ages 25–54, about 10% had at least one episode of zapoy in the past year, which can be taken as a sign that one has a drinking problem.Vodka is the preferred alcoholic beverage, and Russia is notably considered part of the Vodka Belt.
The British TV channel Granada produces a program called Booze Britain, which documents the binge drinking culture by following groups of young adults.