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Millennial women consume as much alcohol as men


Millennials

(NaturalNews) Whatever gender gap there once was between men and women in terms of alcohol consumption has largely disappeared, according to a recent study that compared more than a century's worth of data on the subject.

The in-depth study looked at alcohol consumption statistics for more than 4 million people worldwide, and found that women now drink nearly as much as men – and their health is beginning to suffer from it.

From The Guardian:

"Their analysis, published in the journal BMJ Open, looks at the convergence of drinking habits between men and women over time, from 1891 to 2014. It pools the results of 68 international studies, published since 1980, to look at the changing ratio of male to female drinking over the years.

"Historically, far more men drank alcohol than women. Men born between 1891 and 1910 were twice as likely as their female peers to drink alcohol and more than three times as likely to be involved in problematic use or use leading to harms. But in all three respects, this had almost reached parity among those born between 1991 and 2000."

In the past, women were far less likely to drink enough to cause damage to their health, but there was a steady rise in women's consumption during the 20th century, increasing steeply in those born from the 1960s onward.

Why are women drinking more than ever before?

The rise in alcohol consumption among females has been driven by many factors. When women began joining the workforce in larger numbers their alcohol intake increased accordingly. Professional women and those with management jobs "drink more than the average woman and drink more on weekdays."

Drinking at home has also increased, partly due to price drops, but also because of an increase in alcohol products and advertising geared towards women.

A "wine o'clock" mentality seems to have taken hold – at least in Britain – in which alcohol is treated as an everyday supermarket item, and the idea of drinking at home has become socially acceptable.

Many alcohol products are created with women in mind and with marketing strategies designed to appeal to them. Sweet, fizzy drinks – often pink in color – are seen in print, TV and internet marketing campaigns. Product placement on women's TV shows is also common – for instance, Bailey's was a Desperate Housewives sponsor.

Alcohol is more dangerous for women's health

Alcohol can pose a big threat to health – particularly to that of women. Women's bodies have a higher fat to water ratio, which means that they do not tolerate alcohol as well as men; any alcohol in a woman's system will remain more concentrated. Women's livers are also smaller than men's, making it even more difficult for them to safely process alcohol.

Alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease and several types of cancer. It causes damage to many vital organs, including the brain, liver and pancreas, and weakens the immune system in general.

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy face an increased risk of birth defects, miscarriage, premature birth and low birthweight.

The burden placed on the healthcare system is substantial. The number of people admitted to hospitals directly because of alcohol continues to climb among both men and women.

Between 2013 and 2014, more than 64,000 women were admitted to hospitals in England for alcohol-related issues.

British health officials and concerned citizens are calling for measures aimed at addressing the issue, including health labeling, minimum price controls and the segregation of alcohol in shops and supermarkets.

Millennial women may have mostly caught up with men in terms of social equality, earning power and other aspects of daily life, but being as prone to binge-drinking as men isn't exactly something to be proud of.

Sources:

Independent.ie


TheGuardian.com

DailyMail.co.uk

NIAAA.NIH.gov


NHS.uk

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