A startling new C-D-C report found that 1-in-8 North American women binge drink at least three times a month. And what’s even scarier is that 1-in-5 teenage girls do it. Binge drinking means consuming 6 or more alcoholic beverages in one night.

So, why are so many women turning into dangerous drinkers? Dr. David Jernigan is the director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing. And he says that over the last few years, alcohol manufacturers have been aggressively targeting women with an explosion of new flavored and fruity alcoholic beverages, like “Skinny Girl Margarita” or “Cupcake Frosting Vodka.” In fact, flavored drinks even have a nickname: “chick beer.”

Another reason a lot of women are binge drinking? It’s a stress reliever. A recent study found that half of all women feel anxious and frantic all the time. And researchers say it’s easy for a nightly glass of wine after work to turn into a full-blown binge. Also, experts say that a lot of women binge drink to keep up with the guys! They think that going “drink for drink” shows they’re equals. But the reality is, women’s bodies are much smaller than men’s and simply can’t handle the same amount of alcohol.

How are officials trying to turn the binge drinking tide? They’re launching a campaign to spread the word among women about the dangers of binge drinking, which include breast cancer, heart disease, and death. Health officials are also promoting a new smartphone app that lets you see how your binge drinking habit will affect your face. The free app is called the “Drinking Mirror.” You upload a photo of yourself and input how much you drink – and it generates a photo of how you’ll look in 10 years if you keep up your drinking habit. The thinking is that seeing puffy eyes, and a face full of wrinkles and sagging skin will scare you enough to quit drinking, at least for vanity’s sake!

Lesson Expert

Meredith McKenna