This April we should spread the message about the critical importance of moderation in alcohol consumption for women. More women are getting alcohol-related illnesses, such as liver cirrhosis, and dying. And, according to a recent survey by the Rand Corporation, “American adults have sharply increased their consumption of alcohol during the shutdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, with women increasing their heavy drinking episodes (four or more drinks within a couple of hours) by 41%.” It has been my experience that few women know why alcohol is harder on a woman’s body than a man’s. This April let’s get this educational message to more women.
Here is a statement by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):
Why Do Women Face Higher Risks?
Studies show that women start to have alcohol-related problems sooner and at lower drinking levels than men and for multiple reasons. On average, women weigh less than men. Also, alcohol resides predominantly in body water, and pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. This means that after a woman and a man of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC, the amount of alcohol in the blood) will tend to be higher, putting her at greater risk for harm. Other biological differences may contribute as well.
It is exceptionally important that women embrace moderation if we are to reverse trends. Moderation means some people should not drink: pregnant women, people younger than 21, and those with certain medical conditions or are taking medication that can interact with alcohol. But those who enjoy a drink should know the moderation guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and understand what is meant by a “drink.”
Women and Alcohol, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol, Center for Disease Control & Prevention