Women Binge Drinking

College kids binge drink. For some of them it is just a phase or rite of passage, a weekend activity that falls by the wayside once they graduate and enter the workforce, when responsibilities take over and frat parties and games of beer bong seem like distant memories.

For other students, however, the unhealthy patterns formed by college binge drinking will remain with them for the rest of their lives and can easily lead to a host of other health problems. While the stereotypical college drinker is the frat boy who spends the weekend doing funnels and Jager shots, according to a recent survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, college women drink more than men.

Consuming Beyond the NIAA Drinking Guidelines

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism set weekly drinking guidelines in 2009, and these guidelines are specifically designed to help people avoid the harms and health issues commonly associated with drinking.

The guidelines are as follows: men are not to consume more than four drinks a day and 14 drinks per week, while women should not exceed three drinks a day and seven drinks a week. In a recent study of 992 college students, statistics show that female college students exceed these guidelines more than men.

To anyone familiar with campus culture and the yearly college ritual known as Spring Break, this result should not come as a shock. Women go to parties just as often as men do, and when they are there, many of them drink for the same duration as their male counterparts.

Being that women’s NIAA drinking guidelines are lower than men’s drinking guidelines, which is due to factors like weight, a different stomach enzyme, and the fact that there is less blood in a women’s bloodstream so the alcohol quickly becomes more concentrated, the result of the NIAA study seems like a foregone conclusion.

Raising Collegiate Awareness

Future research should focus on trying to determine how many female (and male) college students are even aware that the NIAA has established weekly drinking guidelines. Chances are this is not the type of information most college age kids are going to have.

If they do not know the limits, they probably do not know the consequences of college binge drinking. Once female students are aware that exceeding the NIAA guidelines can increase the risk of liver disease, heart disease and breast cancer, they might think twice before drinking excessively.