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Last Updated: Friday, 17 October, 2003, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
British women top drinks league
Women are told to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol each week
Young British women drink more alcohol than women anywhere else in western Europe, according to a report.

Analysts at Datamonitor say those aged between 18 and 24 down 203 litres of alcohol a year. That is equivalent to more than five bottles of wine a week.

They drink almost four times more than young Italian women and three times more than the French.

Experts said the figures showed young British women were failing to listen to warnings about drinking too much.

Drinking more

Women are advised to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, which represents seven pints of beer or 14 glasses of wine.

The report shows that as a whole women drink on average 108 litres of alcohol a year, which is equivalent to almost three bottles of wine a week.

What young women drink
UK 203 litres
Germany 189 litres
Netherlands 107 litres107
Sweden 82 litres
Spain 72 litres
France 70 litres
Italy 59 litres
Other Europeans 93 litres
Women between 18 and 24. Source: Datamonitor
However, close inspection shows young women drink for more than that.

They are also drinking much more than they did just four years. In 1999, young British women downed 172 litres of alcohol a year.

The report's author Andrew Russell said the drinking habits of young women had changed.

"We have seen the ladette culture in which young women were sinking pints as fast as the men but I think the situation has moved on," he said.

"Young women now tend to like the sophistication of cocktail bars or to drink with a meal.

"Another reason we have more women drinkers is that there has been a shift away from the traditional smoke-filled pub.

"Now we have chains like All Bar One with big glass windows so women can check the venue from the outside."

A spokesman for Alcohol Concern said women need to be aware of how much they are drinking.

"This is the latest in a series of studies that show women are drinking more than they were in the past.

"It highlights the need for more information about alcohol. For example, the number of units need to be put on bottles and cans so that people - women and men - can make informed choices about the amount they are drinking.

"Although women's drinking has increased it is worth remembering that it is still way behind men in terms of consumption."

How the Europeans drink
19 Sep 03  |  Health
Binge drinking costing billions
19 Sep 03  |  Health


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