Does The CDC's Advice To Women On Drinking Take Prevention Too Far?

Feb 4, 2016

The CDC's announcement that women of childbearing age who are not using contraception should completely avoid alcohol raised eyebrows and tempers in the  media and online Thursday. 

Atlantic health reporters Olga Khazan and Julie Beck break down the CDC's advice, look at the research behind it, and offer the CDC some advice of their own. 

From their piece: 

Julie: Whether a woman should drink (small) amounts of alcohol during pregnancy is a fraught and much-discussed topic, but this report is stretching the responsibility of preventing fetal alcohol syndrome onto women who are not yet pregnant.

Olga: ...an announcement that focuses solely on women smacks of the antiquated view that women shouldn’t drink, period. Men drink far more than women do. They are twice as likely to binge drink. They’re more than twice as likely to become alcoholics. They’re more likely to drink before being in a fatal car accident or before killing themselves. Of course we want to prevent developmental delays among newborns. But if you’re worried about health on a whole-population level, men’s drinking is at least as concerning as women’s, if not more so.

Read the full piece at TheAtlantic.com 

CDC to Women: Don't Drink Unless You're On Birth Control