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Shocking study shows 13 per cent of Kenyans are addicted to alcohol

The people with the highest disposable income drink alcohol the most, according to a new survey. Oh, and for every seven men in a bar, there is a woman.

According to the study, conducted by the Ministry of Health, at least six million Kenyans are heavy drinkers.

And among those who enjoy their alcoholic beverages a little to liberally, 24 per cent are rich while 18 per cent are poor.

Fifty four per cent are neither too rich nor too poor.

The findings were generated through one-on-one interviews with the 4,500 respondents between the ages of 18 and 69.

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Although the study was meant to shed light on the relationship between alcohol abuse and non-communicable diseases, it also shows that 13 per cent of Kenyans are addicted to alcohol.

However, the percentage of those engaging in harmful alcohol behaviour could be as high as 36, evenly distributed between drinkers in rural areas and towns.

The study was carried out by the head of the violence and injury prevention unit at the Ministry of Health, Ms Gladwell Gathecha.

It is part of the first ever non-communicable diseases survey to be conducted in Kenya.

“This survey is aimed at gathering information on non-communicable diseases risk factors to help plan programmes and interventions,” Dr Gathecha said.

According to the report, 34 per cent of men enjoy their tipple compared to only 5.4 per cent of women.

Results of the survey also indicate that the fight against non-communicable disease is hindered by low consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Only six per cent of Kenyans have adequate access to vitamin foods. A staggering 94 per cent do not.

According to the report, consumption of salt, sugar and processed foods also contributes to some lifestyle diseases.

Studies have shown that 84 per cent of Kenyans often add sugar when cooking or preparing food and beverages at home.

At least 23 per cent add salt to their food before or when eating, putting themselves in danger of increasing chances of hypertension and other diseases.

The “Kenya STEPwise Survey” was conducted between April and June 2015 but the findings were only released this month.