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College Women Booze Harder Than Men

Female college students are more likely to drink above their recommended limits.

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"Leaning in"...to the booze? Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda

05/22/13

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College-age females are binge drinking more than their male peers, according to a new study from Harvard Medical School.According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, men should consume no more than four drinks a day, and max 14 drinks a week, whereas women should consume no more than three drinks per day and seven per week. The researchers asked 992 college students—417 men, and 575 women—to report their daily drinking habits twice a week, throughout their first year of college. They found the women were more likely than men to exceed their weekly alcohol limit, which researchers say could put women at a higher risk for health problems in the future.“Recommended drinking limits are lower for women than for men because research to date has found that women experience alcohol-related problems at lower levels of alcohol consumption than men,” says Harvard med student Bettina B. Hoeppner. “Weekly cut-offs are recommended to prevent long-term harmful effects due to alcohol, such as liver disease and breast cancer. By exceeding weekly limits more often than men, women are putting themselves at increased risk for experiencing such long-term effects.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this year that binge drinking is a "serious and under-recognized problem" among women and young girls, with the behavior often starting as early as high school.

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