Women Drinking More and More Often, Study Finds

Women are closing the gap with men when it comes to drinking—and that's not a good thing.

We all know girls who can hang with the boys when it comes to sports, eating and drinking. Heck, maybe you're one of them. And while we're all for gender-equality (yes, we can do anything better than boys!), there's one trend we'd like to not see the girls equal to the guys on: binge drinking.

A new report that will appear in the December 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that "problem drinking" - binge drinking and heavy drinking - among women is on the rise in the U.S. In fact, in regards to how much and how often women drink alcohol, we're catching up to the men. It may seem cool in the movies when a girl can drink a guy under the table, but this puts women increasingly at risk for developing alcohol problems and alcohol-related disorders. For women, binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in two hours.

Researchers have a few theories on why women are drinking more. First, stress. As the pace of life has increased and the economy has slowed, women are more stressed than ever. Second, more women are in the work force, where they may drink more at happy hours and at social occasions, rather than staying at home, raising kids. No matter the reasons, researchers told WebMd that there is a need for specific public health prevention and intervention efforts to curb this trend.

Our best advice? While alcohol in moderation has been shown to have some health benefits, in excess it's just not good for you. So if you're going to drink, try to limit it to one drink a day!

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