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Australian women drink more than expected
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Millions of Australian women are drinking twice as much wine as they think, a national study has found.


Researchers from the National Drug Research Institute blamed the surge on the use of larger wine glasses at bars and home, and differences in the alcohol percentages of beverages.


The Sunday Telegraph quoted Professor Steve Allsop as saying heavy alcohol consumption by females was creating a generation of women who were at greater risk of weight gain, cancer, and brain and liver damage.


In the National Drug Research Institute study, researcher Celia Wilkinson asked participants how many standard drinks they consumed a week.


"We measured it and found people are clearly making an error --anything from underestimating it from 10 percent up to 50 and even100 percent," Professor Allsop said.


This meant a woman who believed she had consumed three glasses of wine, in fact, had as many as six.


National Drug and Alcohol Research Center director Professor Richard Mattick blamed a lack of education for the worrying trend of women underestimating their alcohol consumption.


People did not know what a standard drink comprised, nor the alcohol percentage, he said. Groups of women polled by The Sunday Telegraph gave conflicting answers to the amount of wine in a standard glass.


Professor Allsop said research also showed that women's increased independence, both financially and socially, had led to females becoming heavy drinkers.


Women in higher paid jobs, particularly those in managerial positions, were especially vulnerable, research found.


The Federal Government has been forced to respond to the problem and will introduce new standard drink logos on wine bottles to better educate people.


(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)


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