'The dark side of equality': Highly educated British women among western world's worst binge drinkers

New report claims that UK is 'pretty unique' when it comes to connection between education and drinking levels

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Highly educated professional British women drink more than any other similar group in the western world, new research claims.

The report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicates highly educated women were twice as likely to regularly consume dangerous levels of alcohol as their lesser educated peers.

Labelled the “dark side of equality,” by OCED economist Mark Pearson, it is thought educated female binge drinking has emerged as women move into traditionally male industries, such as finance, which have a heavy drinking culture. The data claims that one in five highly educated women is likely to regularly consume hazardous levels of alcohol, in comparison with one in 10 among the least educated group.

The OCED defines ‘hazardous’ drinking as at least twice the safe limit of 14 units weekly for women and 21 units for men.

The report noted that the link between education and drinking levels was strongest in the UK, with Mr Pearson labelling the findings “pretty unique”.

The data, which found that women aged 45 to 64 were likely to be the heaviest drinkers, also claims that much of the binge drinking was likely to be done at home.

“Women with higher education may have better-paid jobs involving higher degrees of responsibility and thus may drink more heavily because they have more stress as well as more chances to go out drinking with male colleagues with higher limits of drinking,” says the report.

It adds that women’s “changing lifestyles,” such as delayed motherhood or improved employment opportunities, have meant that heavy drinking “has easily found a place”.

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