Abstaining From Alcohol Can Improve Women’s Mental Health

Glass half-full, literally Alcohol has a reputation for inducing warm feelings and relaxation. But a new study shows the opposite may be true: going alcohol-free improves women’s mental health....

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Glass half-full, literally

Alcohol has a reputation for inducing warm feelings and relaxation. But a new study shows the opposite may be true: going alcohol-free improves women’s mental health.

The study appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last week. Researchers interviewed 10,000 people in Hong Kong and 30,000 people in the United States, and found that women who never drank reported the highest levels of mental well-being. The idea that “moderate drinking” improves health might be a myth, said one of the study’s authors, Herbert Pang, an assistant professor at the School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong.

“Our findings suggest caution in recommendations that moderate drinking could improve health-related quality of life,” Pang told “Today.”

While the average man’s alcohol consumption is decreasing, women’s alcohol use is on the rise, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Women are also reporting a sharp increase in binge drinking in recent years. Therefore, alcohol-related health problems in women–including addiction, accidents, and emergency room visits–are also on the rise. In light of these negative consequences, more women are experimenting with the “sober-curious” lifestyle. The “sober-curious” movement encourages people to go booze-free in order to improve their physical and mental health.

We can all (not) drink to that. Cheers!

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