Curb binge drinking this holiday season


When the holiday season is around the corner, try not to indulge in binge drinking as bad habits we pick up in our youth may stay with us later in life, cautions a team of researchers.

While a few extra drinks might be brushed off as holiday cheer, they can actually signal a problem in young adults.

“Most people do not even know when they are binge drinking,” said Erin O’Loughlin, researcher with Concordia University’s Independent programme (INDI) and department of exercise science.

“While they do know when they are wasted, the reality is that four consecutive drinks per sitting for a woman and five for a man constitute binge drinking,” he noted.

The new findings emerged from the Nicotine Dependence in Teens (NDIT) study. NDIT has been keeping a tab on the mental health, drinking habits and physical activity levels of 1,294 young people from Montreal area since 1999, when they were in their early teens.

The study suggests that out of 85 percent of respondents who continue their heavy-drinking habits into early adulthood, some may face long term consequences.

Further, a young man, “those who left formal education behind at an early age and those who have a tendency toward impulsive behaviour” are more likely to sustain the drinking habits they formed in adolescence, the findings showed.

“Parents should be aware that if their teenager is into binge drinking, they are more likely to sustain binging later in life,” O’Loughlin said.

The study, done in collaboration with Université de Montréal and University of Massachusetts, was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.