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Study Finds British Women As Likely To Binge Drink As Men

August 20, 2011

British women are now as likely as their male counterparts to binge drink, claims a new study from researchers at University College London (UCL).

The study, which was the topic of an August 19 article by Matthew Holehouse of the Telegraph, discovered that nearly 80-percent of all British women were as likely as British men to consume large amounts of alcohol at any given time.

In comparison, in other European countries, men were far more likely to be binge drinkers than women. In fact, in Spain, binge drinking was nine times more common in males than in females, according to the study of 6,500 “normal drinkers”.

“It is quite fashionable for footballers to drink heavily, to trash places. The image that young people get is that that is quite acceptable to do“¦ It is considered a bit edgy, risky and fashionable. These are the role models for a younger generation,” General practitioner and UCL Professor Irwin Nazareth told Holehouse.

Nazareth added that he felt it was important for doctors to begin asking their patients about their drinking habits during office calls.

The study found that a total of 4.5-percent of those interviewed were binge drinkers, defined as a person who consumes six or more drinks at one sitting at least once per month. The highest rate was in the Netherlands, where 8.4-percent were binge drinkers, while in England, the rate was 8.9 percent for men and 7.7 percent for women (8.4 percent overall).

According to Fiona Macrae of the Daily Mail, the second highest binge drinking rate among ladies was in the Netherlands, where 5-percent of women consumed at least six drinks in one sitting on a monthly basis. In third place was Estonia with 2-percent.

No other country posted a female binge drinking rate above 1-percent, Macrae reported.

“The Britons taking part were also more likely to progress to being classed as heavy drinkers over the coming months, the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism reports,” the Daily Mail article also stated. “The Institute of Alcohol Studies, an independent think-tank, warned binge-drinking women ‘posed a serious long-term health threat to themselves and the nation’.”

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