Aussie women catching up to men at the bar

For many Australians 2011 has been a year of highs and lows with economic security and the cost of living influencing the way we live and see the world.

With this in mind it is not surprising that a number of men and women are using the Christmas holidays to take a well-deserved break.

Calenders that used to be full with personal appointments wedged artfully between work and family commitments have been cleared of job-related activities and replaced with details for parties, barbeques and weekend brunches.

And as the mercury rises more and more people are taking time to kick their heels up and unwind.

But with so much festive spirit in the air it can be easy to over indulge and some women may be jeopardising their long-term health by making poor choices in an attempt to have a good time.

According to a new study women are quickly catching up to their male peers when it comes to alcohol consumption, the Sun Herald reported.

The FebFast survey – which was released earlier this week (December 29) – examined the drinking patterns of 1,000 Australians and in doing so has drawn attention to potentially dangerous holiday drinking habits.

It found that women were four times more likely to drink an alcoholic beverage daily than their male peers.

The not-for-profit also found that more than two thirds of women reported drinking during the holidays as a way of celebrating and having fun.

But men were not too far behind with the vast majority of them prepared to spend their time and money at the bar this summer.

Men were twice as likely to drink 15 standard drinks in a week during the Christmas holidays than they would in a normal week, at the same time as the number of men who drank daily tripled.

Rob Moodie, a professor at Melbourne University, suggests that the results were in keeping with current drinking trends.

He said that over the past decade more and more women were picking up the bottle and in some cases even surpassing men when it comes to weekly alcohol consumption.

But he was also careful to warn women that while they may enjoy socialising with friends, excessive drinking could threaten their health and safety.

"It just makes life that much more precarious for those drinking at risky levels," he said.

FebFast helps to raise funds for Mission Australia and the Australian Drug Foundation by encouraging people to abstain from alcohol in February.