Female University Students Bigger Binge Drinkers Than Males, Research Shows

Female students are considered bigger binge drinkers than their male counterparts, with more than half drinking "intensively", research has shown.

Experts were also surprised by the "high consumption" of illegal drugs among university students, which raised concerns about the health of young people.

The results of the survey showed 56.1% of female students are considered binge drinks, compared to 41.3% of males.

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

The research, carried out by the the HealthyFit group at the University of Vigo, Spain, also showed 51.% of females lived a "sedentary lifestyle", as opposed to 41.7% of males.

Professors at the university analysed students who maintain an "appropriate level" of physical activity, and found 38.6% of males do physical exercise, compared to 20.9% of women.

"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," Carral added.

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

Concerns were raised in 2011 over the binge drinking habits of students as a a disorder known as "drunkorexia" grew in popularity on campus. Research carried out by the University of Missouri in the United States revealed as many as one in five students were following the worrying trend.

A study published the following by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation however found many students felt under pressure to drink alcohol and are angered by the media's "negative and distorted" portrayal of young people as heavy binge drinkers.