Binge Drinking Threatens Women and Girls
Female binge drinking is widespread and poses a serious health risk, the CDC reports.
Binge drinking is a serious and under-recognized problem among women and young girls, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Around one in five high school girls and one in eight women are considered binge drinkers, which is defined by consuming four or more alcoholic drinks in a sitting. The report found that binge drinking is most prevalent among women aged 18-34 and high school girls, as well as among women who live in households with an annual income of $75,000 or more. "We've watched a shift from girls drinking beer to distilled spirits," says David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "They are experimenting with the strongest form of the drug available." Women process alcohol differently than men, and large quantities can put them at a higher risk for heart disease, breast cancer, STD's and other harmful diseases. Fortunately, the problem is preventable, says CDC director Thomas Frieden. "Effective community measures can support women and girls in making wise choices about whether to drink or how much to drink if they do," he says. "Each of us can choose not to binge drink."