International womens’ day
Women and Alcohol
44 Years ago the annual tradition of International Women’s Day was established. Every year women from all over the world join forces to celebrate women’s historical and modern day achievements while fighting for continued and improved gender equality and justice.
But when it comes to equality and alcohol, it’s not a level playing field.
Historically, women have had a hard time about their alcohol consumption. In the 19th century it was considered immoral for a woman to drink, while no one would blink an eye at their male counterparts “on the tiles”!
Today, attitudes to women and alcohol have taken a significant U-turn. The alcohol industry has capitalised on heavily targeting and marketing alcohol to women by “feminising” drinks, fuelling an increase in women consuming more alcohol.
While we are all for gender equality, female bodies’ process alcohol very differently to males.
Thanks to higher levels of body fat and lower levels of body water, women experience a stronger physiological response to alcohol – which contributes to short and longer term harm.
Longer term harms can include:
Cirrhosis: It has been found that women produce less ADH, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the body. This coupled with the steady rise in alcohol consumption has seen a 57% increase in death from cirrhosis in women.
Dependency: Studies have also shown that women become alcohol dependent faster than men, but are much less likely to seek professional help.
Hormones and cancer: Alcohol can increase the levels of oestrogen which has been linked to the development of breast cancer.
With that in mind, here are our top tips for making healthier choices.
1) If you’re going to drink, drink in moderation.
There are no known safe limits of alcohol consumption, however England’s Chief Medical Officer has issued some useful guidelines.
· It is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
· If you do drink as much as 14 units per week it is best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days.
· If you are pregnant or are trying to conceive the safest approach is to not drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to a minimum for
2) Track your drinking.
Our free DrinkCoach app to can help you to set your drinking goals and stick to them, managing your risk more effectively than guess-work.
3) Support each other.
There’s power in numbers so find a group of like-minded friends and fill your calendar with new and different activities, not focused on alcohol.
And if you’d like more information about your drinking take the 2 min alcohol test .