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Why You May Want to Go Alcohol-Free Once a Week

It's hard to quit, but finding ways to reduce your drinking is important to your health—especially since binge-drinking among midlife women is on the rise.

Boomers and booze: Do we get the balance right? In the U.K. at least, the answer seems to be no. Fans of Absolutely Fabulous may laugh out loud over mid-life London party gals Patsy and Edina—but that kind of overindulgence isn’t funny to the British government, which just launched a campaign urging people between the ages of 45 and 65 to cut back on drinking.

New research found that midlifers who drink are more likely than other age groups to down 14-plus units of alcohol a week. As part of this recent survey of 9,000 adults by the global public opinion and data firm YouGov, respondents also said that finding ways to reduce your drinking is far harder than eating healthily or working out.

Limiting alcohol consumption is far harder than eating healthily or working out, according to a survey of midlife adults.

The UK push, spurred by growing awareness of alcohol’s dangers, encourages midlife Brits to have regular drink-free days each week in order to improve sleep, help with weight loss and reduce risk of high blood pressure, heart problems, liver disease and cancer. “Having a day off drinking gives you a chance to clean your system and give your liver a rest,” says Dr. Julia Verne, a spokesperson for Public Health England.

While there’s not a similar cutback campaign on this side of the pond yet, guidelines by our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend no more than one drink per day for women and two for men. Booze hits us harder than guys because they have more total body water, which is key to processing alcohol.

Overall alcohol consumption and the tendency to binge-drink is on the rise in midlife women.

Unfortunately, women our age seem to be imbibing more than ever. While research had historically and consistently shown that men abuse booze more than women, midlife women’s overall alcohol consumption and tendency to binge-drink is on the rise, nationally and internationally, according to a 2017 study by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Hmm, maybe it’s not so hilarious when Patsy said: “The last mosquito that bit me had to book into the Betty Ford Clinic.” Today, how about we don’t drink to that?

By Nina Malkin


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