Ladies, drink up! Women now have the same alcohol intake with men. The creation of lighter, sweeter products specifically aimed at girls and young women is said to be one of the major reasons for this change.
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Center did a study on the matter and found out that this change is mainly caused by successful marketing campaigns. Other studies even suggested that young women may be out-drinking men.
"These results have implications for the framing and targeting of alcohol use prevention and intervention programs. Alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders have historically been viewed as a male phenomenon. The present study calls this assumption into question and suggests that young women in particular should be the target of concerted efforts to reduce the impact of substance use and related harms," the researchers said.
The research looked at data for a period of about a century involving the alcohol consumption habits of around four million individuals.
Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern said, "Since the 1950s we've seen women's drinking continue to rise. Drinking at home has continued to increase and because alcohol is so cheap and easily available it's become an everyday grocery item. We've also seen a concerted effort from the alcohol industry to market products and brands specifically to women. We know from our annual Dry January campaign that people often don't realize that alcohol has become a habit rather than a pleasure, with women having 'wine o'clock' most nights of the week."
However, women's bodies do not have the same level of tolerance for alcohol as men's. Women have a higher fat to water ratio, which means alcohol in the body is more concentrated. Women's livers are also normally smaller than men's, making it harder for alcohol to process safely.
"This is why we need mandatory health warnings on alcohol products and a mass media campaign to make sure the chief medical officer's guidelines are widely known and understood," Robinson concluded.