Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Female alcohol intake on rise

Consumption among women up: experts

  • Print

TORONTO -- Experts suggest women may be catching up to their male peers when it comes to alcohol consumption.

A group of researchers gathered in Toronto Friday to discuss what they describe as a rise in female drinking.

Several said booze was the new tobacco, saying alcohol companies have begun targeting ads towards women the way cigarette manufacturers did in the late 1960s.

They said advertisers market liquor as "diet" or "natural" in an effort to appeal to health-conscious women.

They said the result is a rise in women suffering from liver disease and other alcohol-related illnesses, saying it mirrored the spike in ailments caused by smoking several decades ago.

Experts agreed the issue demanded change, both from advertisers and the governments that regulate alcohol sales.

"Over and over again, young people are being exposed to more alcohol advertising than adults," said David Jernigan, director of the U.S.-based Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.

"This is an opportunity... an area of growth for the industry."

Research supports the notion that drinking among women is on the rise.

Earlier this week, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health issued a report describing alcohol as one of the top health risks in the country and calling for more government involvement in alcohol sales, pricing, advertising and treatment.

The report also included a score card for each province on its alcohol controls. Ontario topped the rankings, while Quebec came in last.

Studies in the U.S. have shown exposure to alcohol advertising among youth has increased more rapidly than among those 21 and older.

Studies done by Jernigan's own organization suggest the most popular beverages are not the discount beers normally associated with an age group on a budget, but rather more heavily advertised brands such as Budweiser, Miller and Smirnoff.

While Jernigan thinks advertising is driving the problem, others echoed CAMH in pointing the finger at political inaction.

"There is absolutely a vacuum" when it comes to alcohol and public policy, said Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of the Women and Alcohol Atkinson series. "It's as if we're under a spell. Where's the national and provincial leadership on this issue?"

Canada has had a national alcohol strategy since 2007 and is a signatory on the World Health Organization's global strategy to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol, but experts called for stronger action.

"It's time to hold them to it," said Gerald Thomas, a researcher with the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse that drafted guidelines to help keep Canadians' alcohol consumption in check.

The guidelines advise female consumers to drink no more than 10 drinks a week and two drinks a day, and advise men to drink no more than 15 drinks a week and three drinks a day.


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 10, 2013 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Christmas Cheer Board hamper kickoff

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Should the federal government force band chiefs and councillors to disclose their salary information?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google