India: Women’s Alcohol Use Rising
According to a survey done in Delhi, more Indian women are consuming more alcohol.
The survey was conducted by the Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD) among 5,000 women aged between 18 to 70 years in Delhi.
The survey reports, rising affluence, aspirations, societal pressure and exposure to a different lifestyle is causing the rise in women’s alcohol consumption.
The survey found:
- 43.7% women in the age group of 18-30 years consumed alcohol,
- 41.7% women in the age group of 31-45 years consumed alcohol due to occupational requirement or because of social norms,
- Over 53% women above 60 years and 39.1% women in 46–60 years consumed alcohol for emotional reasons,
- 45.6% women in the age group of 18-30 years reported binge alcohol use (4 or more units of alcohol in one occasion),
- 44.9% women in the age group of 31-45 years reported having 3 to 4 units of alcohol in one occasion,
- Over 22% women in the age group of 46-60 years and 24.6% women above 60 years of age reported binge alcohol use,
- Binge alcohol use is common among women between 18-30 years and 31-45 years of age.
Factors related to more women using alcohol
According to CADD the pervasive alcohol norm, alcohol marketing directed to women and the myth of using alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety etc. are the main reasons leading to more women using alcohol in India.
Driven by the market forces where cocktail and berry [alcoholic beverages] are being promoted as feel good and relaxing drinks for women to be enticed into [consuming] more [alcohol] with a promise of good time that awaits them,” stated the report as per The Times of India.
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) study, between 2010 and 2017, alcohol consumption in India increased by 38%. It increased to about 5.7 litres per adult per year in 2016 from 2.4 litres per adult per year in 2005.
CADD states the increase in alcohol use by women who were traditionally abstainers is one reason for the country-wide increase of alcohol use.
According to the Indian government’s Centre for Alcohol Studies, after traditionally being abstainers for decades, the women’s alcohol market is expected to grow by 25% over the next 5 years. Already in Delhi 20% of women which translates to about 150,000 women consume alcohol.
Earlier in 2019, a landmark study published in The Lancet showed that alcohol consumption is rising in India. This trend spells serious problems for the country in reaching its sustainable development goals (SDGs.)