BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Wednesday, 19 April, 2000, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Women get the drinks in
girl drinking
Female alcohol consumption is increasing each year
Women in Britain have a growing passion for alcohol and could soon top Europe's drinking league, says a report.

Work-related stress, higher incomes and socialising with colleagues are behind the increase, especially among the 16-24 age group, say market analysts Datamonitor.

But many women try to balance binges with exercise.



Many women follow a debits and credits system, where one session of "being good" earns them an indulgence

Richard Robinson, Datamonitor

Richard Robinson, from Datamonitor, said: "Many women follow a debits and credits system. One session of 'being good', such as going to the gym, earns them an indulgence such as an alcoholic drink.

"Consumers feel more comfortable about their alcohol intake as they feel able to justify it to themselves."

Calories: v good

Some link this pattern to the so-called Bridget Jones Syndrome, because it imitates the heroine of Helen Fielding's best-selling cult novel, Bridget Jones's Diary.

Bridget Jones is a young single professional who obsessively counts her daily consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and calories, marking "v good", if she feels she has been sensible.

Datamonitor analysed the sales patterns of alcohol companies across Europe.

In 1998, the average British woman drank 9.1 units a week, which last year rose to 9.4 units. Among 16 to 24-year-olds, units consumed rose from 10.4 to 11.3 - an increase of 8.7%.

Calculations were based on the standard measure of an alcoholic unit, equivalent to a pub measure of spirits, half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

Fastest growth

By 2004, the average British woman's consumption is predicted to rise to 11.8 units - representing an increase of more than 25% over five years.

British women have the fastest growth in consumption forecast of any of the nine countries surveyed - Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the US.

Germany leads the list with a weekly average of 15.4 units.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

28 Jul 99 | Health
Alcohol labelled in units
10 May 99 | Entertainment
Writers slated for 'Bridget Jones' novels
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories