Binge drinking among women and girls is a health problem that is serious but under-recognized, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a report out today.
About 1 in 8 women and 1 in 5 high school girls binge drink, according to the CDC's Vital Signs report. Binge drinking for women is defined as consuming four or more alcohol drinks, such as beer, liquor or wine, on an occasion.
study found that binge drinking was most common among women ages 18-34
and high school girls. It also was most prevalent among women living in
households with annual incomes of $75,000 or higher.
notes special concerns about binge drinking among females. Women and
girls metabolize, or process, alcohol differently from men and boys.
CDC warns binge drinking puts women at a higher risk for breast cancer,
sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease and unintended pregnancy.
Binge drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum
disorders and sudden infant death syndrome.
director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, says it is
critical that this problem of binge drinking is highlighted.
watched a shift from girls drinking beer to distilled spirits," he
says. "They are experimenting with the strongest form of the drug
CDC Director Thomas Frieden says there are ways to
prevent excessive drinking. He adds, "Effective community measures can
support women and girls in making wise choices about whether to drink or
how much to drink if they do."