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  Editorial Issue 69, December 2008   
Women and Youngsters: Increases Alcohol ConsumptionWomen and Youngsters: Increases Alcohol Consumption  Contents 
Issue 68, November 2008 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 70, January 2009

Women and Youngsters: Increases Alcohol Consumption


 The news of the increasing of alcohol consumption among Italian youngsters was already spread by ISTAT last April (National Institute of Statistics), a news which is not good, and to which was recently added the news the consumption of alcohol has increased among women as well. In case the increasing of alcohol consumption is to be considered as an increase of a conscious and moderate consumption, this would certainly be satisfactory, but when it is about abuse and excess, this is not something to be proud of. And there are at least two reasons for which one should be concerned: both for the development of a deplorable social custom not intelligent at all, as well as for the development of a deleterious and bad culture associated to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. We believe whoever abuses in the consumption of alcohol lacks of respect for himself or herself, as well as for the others, in particular to the people who have with them a close relationship. Moreover, this also represents an evident insult, a lack of consideration and respect, for producers who dedicate their efforts to the production of quality, which is then deplorably trampled.


 

 If the future of any society and of any culture is represented by youngsters, knowing they rely on the excess and the abuse of alcohol, it is not something which can be cause of satisfaction or pleasure. And the same can be said for any other substance - with no exception - which can cause dependence and damage to the health, in particular to the health of others who, because of their own choice, do not make use of them. Moreover, knowing the excessive consumption of alcohol is a custom getting more and more common among women, this certainly makes things even more sad. Not because the abuse of alcohol in women is more deplorable than men - an abuse is always an abuse, no matter who does it - but in particular for the risks which could arise in case of pregnancy and for the potential harms for the fetus. Why did it happen an increase of alcohol consumption among youngsters and women? An expert of social customs or an anthropologist could certainly answer to this question, something which goes far beyond our, and certainly more humble, competences.

 We can simply take a look at the figures expressing consumptions and to draw conclusions or express opinions. According to the figures spread by ISTAT, almost 20% of youngsters from 11 to 15 have said they had an alcoholic beverage at least once in the last year. This statistics does not tell anything about quantities and, after all, in a country where one of the most representing beverages is an alcoholic beverage - wine - this could also be seen as normal in the cultural aspects of Italy. Moreover, this statistical research says the consumption of alcohol among young women from 18 to 19 has increased to 60.9% as opposed to 53.7% of the previous research. As for women from 20 to 24, the increase reaches 63.2%, whereas in the previous research this figure was 58.4%. This statistics does not provide any information about quantities, therefore it is not possible to know whether this increase corresponds to an excessive consumption or to a moderate and conscious consumption.

 This statistic research shows some important behavioral aspects related to the preferences of alcohol consumption. Although quantities are not mentioned, the study found out an increase of alcohol consumption between meals, something which should make think about hard drinks and spirits instead of wine, generally and traditionally consumed during meals. According to this statistic, alcohol consumption between meals has increased for girls from 9.7% to 17.9%, whereas for boys the increase changes from 15.2% to 22.7%. Figures which does not give any comfort, indeed they should be considered as very preoccupying. Not only for the bad habit youngsters are getting in regard to alcohol, but also, and in particular, for healthy reasons. It is in fact known in youngsters the body is not yet capable of metabolizing alcohol because of the lack of a fundamental enzyme - alcohol dehydrogenase - which will develop in adult age. If we then consider alcohol metabolization is better when one has a stomach full of food, the habit of consuming alcohol between meals makes things even worse.

 Why do youngster have the need to consume alcohol in excess in order to reach an inconvenient state of drunkenness? Is it the need to seem what one cannot be - and will never be - or a try to find a support in order to overcome one's fears of inadequateness? Moreover, could it simply be the search of homologation to the silly social models where one must, like to say, break the rules in order to be accepted from the others, and to have the illusion to feel like an adult? As much as strict one can be, it is not youngsters' fault who adopt certain behavioral models, indeed it is adults' fault who create such models without having no preoccupation about the consequences, therefore neglecting their role of educators. Everyone has the right to personally live experiences and to understand the consequences, there is no doubt about this. Whoever has been a youngster knows very well recommendations from adults are seen as impositions and not as advices from a person having a higher experience. Therefore, the problem is in communication, maybe the way of communicating to youngsters is inadequate and counterproductive.

 The conscious and responsible consumption is, first of all, a cultural attitude. In case there is no attention on the spreading and the promotion of conscious and responsible culture of alcoholic beverages consumption, it is very likely the results will be same. In Italy, in public houses it is mandatory the display of tables providing information about acceptable consumption levels, also warning about the effects of alcohol according to the intake. It certainly is an useful measure in order to favor a responsible consumption, certainly not to favor the culture of conscious consumption. It is a step forward, no doubt about this, but it is also true this cannot be fixed with a simple “table”. An useful informative action, but not a decisive one. Among the services offered by our magazine, the alcohol test is among the most appreciated ones, in particular from mobile devices. It certainly is not an essential contribution, but it however shows the interest of our readers in a responsible consumption. It certainly is not an essential service, but we wish it can be useful - in its simplicity - to spread the culture of using the brain when having a glass in the hand, instead of sinking the brain in a glass.

 




   Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 69, December 2008   
Women and Youngsters: Increases Alcohol ConsumptionWomen and Youngsters: Increases Alcohol Consumption  Contents 
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