56 percent of female university students get drunk in record time

December 28, 2012

on purpose – quicker than their male counterparts, and live a more sedentary life than they do, according to a study by the University of Vigo. Results show that 56.1% of female students are considered binge drinkers, as opposed to 41.3% of males.

Researchers from the HealthyFit group at the University of Vigo have studied university students' lifestyles; their analysis, which includes alcohol and illegal drug , sport and food, concludes that most students indulge in unhealthy behaviour. One of the main results of the study is the high consumption of alcohol.

"The amount drunk per unit of time is higher among women. In other words, even though drink more often, females do so more intensively in shorter periods of time, which is known as ", explained to SINC José Mª Cancela Carral, co-author of the study published by the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Researchers randomly selected 985 students from different degree courses and in different years at the University of Vigo.

Of the females interviewed, 51.2% lead a , while the percentage in males is 41.7%. When analysing students who maintain an appropriate level of physical activity, 38.6% of males do , as opposed to only 20.9% of women.

"We were also surprised by the high consumption of among university students – 44.9% of men and 30.9% of women – which we understand could lead to significant problems, mainly related to the nervous system", underlined the researcher.

Anomalous attitudes to food were more evident among women (16.6%), although also present among men (8.8%). "However, the showed that this parameter depended on the degree the student was studying for", added Cancela. Such attitudes were much more common among those studying degrees related to education (19.2%) than among those studying courses related to health (6.3%).

Health network

Spanish universities set up a Healthy University Network in 2008, a project for healthy living for universities from all over Spain, the Spanish University Rectors' Association, the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and some regional public health entities.

In the researcher's opinion, at many universities this network was nothing more than "a simple first step to get on the list and nothing else"; hence transversal content should be implemented in study plans related to food, physical exercise and healthy habits.

"In the light of the results, training and information courses are required in these areas, together with healthy leisure – not just sports facilities – to set up university guidance services for a healthy student lifestyle", concludes Cancela.

Genetic predisposition

A recent study published in the PNAS journal argues that the gene called RASGRF2 could be related to a predisposition to getting drunk.

According to scientists, this gene regulates the predisposition to drink excessive amounts of alcohol as it influences mesolimbic dopamine neuron activity, which is one of the ways dopamine is taken from one region of the brain to another.

Gunter Schumann, one of the main authors of the study, explained that even though we should not consider said gene to be the main cause – as there are many environmental factors and other genes involved – the study thereof helps to explain why some people are more vulnerable to alcohol than others.

Explore further: Young people who go out drinking start earlier and consume more and more alcohol, Spanish study shows

More information: Verónica Varela-Mato, José M. Cancela, Carlos Ayan, Vicente Martín y Antonio Molina. "Lifestyle and Health among Spanish University Students: Differences by Gender and Academic Discipline", International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 9: 2728-2741, 2012. doi:10.3390/ijerph9082728.

David Staceya et al. "RASGRF2 regulates alcohol-induced reinforcement by influencing mesolimbic dopamine neuron activity and dopamine release", PNAS 109 (51), 5 de diciembre. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211844110.

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2 comments

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Lurker2358
5 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2012
"We were also surprised by the high consumption of illegal drugs among university students – 44.9% of men and 30.9% of women – which we understand could lead to significant future health problems, mainly related to the nervous system", underlined the researcher.


How is it that people are so fricken clueless?

One of the primary topics of discussion among high schoolers and college students is how drunk they got over the weekend, or at somebody's party.

The senior class photo of a certain click group I remember from high school has EVERYONE with a bottle of beer in their hands, and all of them were under legal age at the time, by 2 or 3 years.

Being is drunk is what passes for "cool" in our modern society.

Heaven help anyone who suggests there's something wrong with the picture, no matter how many people they kill whilst driving.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Dec 28, 2012
Anyone who is under influence can't be expected to make a wise decision while they are under influence, because if they were a big enough fool to ingest a substance which makes them a bigger fool, then they will certainly not be wise when they are a bigger fool, i.e. drunk.

1, Make the foolish decision to drink.
2, Now under the influence, making the right decision is harder, making them a bigger fool.
3, fool makes a further decision to drink more.
4, fool becomes a bigger fool still.
5, repeat above.
6, fool dies in an auto accident or dies from blood alcohol poisoning, etc, possibly taking several people down with them.

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