University of Oxford professor Devi Sridhar, a lecturer in global health politics, is calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to begin regulating alcohol use worldwide.
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, Sridhar wrote in Nature, the science journal.
Sridhar thinks that alcohol misuse has become a global epidemic and that the WHO should treat the issue as a global health crisis.
In 2010, WHO published a document titled Global Strategy of Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol in which the organization supplied suggestions to limit drinking and driving, availability of alcohol and the marketing of alcoholic beverages.
[Alcohol] is the eighth leading risk factor for deaths globally, and harmful use of alcohol was responsible for almost 4 percent of all deaths in the world, according to the estimates for 2004, said the WHO in a statement.
Dr. Ihsan Salloum, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, agrees according to ABC News. He says that while binge drinking and alcoholism are problems in the U.S., preventative strategies have largely reduced alcohol-related health burdens significantly. He says that even if there is an international consensus about ways to reduce unhealthy drinking habits, there will likely be problems with enforcement. He notes the ineffectiveness of tobacco regulation in certain countries.