Another Alcohol Study of Women is Deceptive and Misleading

There’s been a one-third increase in the consumption of alcoholic drinks by volume among women in the U.S. age 21 to 24 over a five year period. That’s according to a Wall Street Journal story titled “Rise in Young Female Drinkers Spurs Concerns.”

Unfortunately, the article was based on a study that used a meaningless measure of alcohol consumption -- drinks by volume. For example, if one ounce of alcohol is added to five ounces of orange juice, that counts as six ounces of alcohol. This is “a false and meaningless measure of alcohol consumption.”

To the contrary, alcohol consumption by women age 21 to 24 in the U.S. has remained flat in recent years. That’s according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, there has been a steady decline in underage drinking over the past decade according to the Monitoring the Future surveys sponsored by the federal government.


  • Ball, Deborah, and O’Connell, Vanessa. Rise in young female drinkers spurs concerns. Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2006.
  • Coleman, Frank. Wrong measurement (letter to editor). Pittsburg Post-Gazette, March 2, 2006.

Filed Under: Misinformation