Women aged between 18 and 50 told not to drink alcohol by World Health Organisation 4 months ago

Women aged between 18 and 50 told not to drink alcohol by World Health Organisation

WHO the hell do they think they are?

Right, ladies, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), if you're between the childbearing ages of 18 and 50, you shouldn't be drinking. We're sorry, but that's the word from the big dogs and it's final so put the vino down and, I don't know, have a water or something.

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Side note: what century actually is this and are we being pranked?

Seriously, though, in the report itself, the WHO is cited as saying that "One of the most dramatic manifestations of harm to persons other than drinkers is pre-natal alcohol exposure and the development of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders".

Now, of course - on strictly medical grounds - this is fair comment so long as the research is fully substantiated and they are simply advising women who might be considering having children on their drinking habits and the effects it can have on both your own health and your babies. As if they didn't know that already.

However, if they are somehow suggesting that these are guaranteed consequences and, therefore, women in the fairly blanket age group of 18-50 shouldn't enjoy themselves like everybody else, then that is beyond ridiculous. Furthermore, there is some suggestion that the science isn't totally concrete.

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Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group (a UK alcohol trade body) said: “As well as being sexist and paternalistic, and potentially restricting the freedoms of most women, it goes well beyond their remit and is not rooted in science.”

We're not even suggesting there isn't an obvious correlation between the two: everyone knows alcohol has little to no actual health benefits and is bad for you, but so are crisps, chocolate, lying in bed all day - are we going to start policing absolutely everything that people do with their body and put in it?

Generations of women have enjoyed a tipple and simply made sure they don't drink whilst pregnant, as the effects of imbibing alcohol during this stage is proven to risk serious prenatal conditions. An ex-WHO employee has even come out to spotlight the absurdity of the statement.

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Moreover, where, pray tell, is the balanced research on the male side of the spectrum over at the World Health Organisation? It is a proven fact that alcohol can affect sperm count, size, shape and motility, but you don't see them telling blokes not to drink during the prime of their lives.

The recommendation is part of WHO's proposal drafted up for the 'Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030'. This is the first draft: we'd suggest revising it fairly promptly, guys.

They go on to say:

“Symptoms in children exposed to alcohol in the womb can include poor growth, distinct facial features and learning and behavioural problems. The plan suggests such harms could be publicised through an international ‘world no alcohol day/week’.

Appropriate attention should be given to the prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, and protection of people from pressures to drink.”

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Now, don't get us wrong, we're all for promoting drinking responsibly and not binge-drinking your brains out, regardless of whether you're thinking of having children or not, but let's just say we side with this queen on the matter:

The World Health Organisation might have been doing some truly important work throughout the pandemic but this really isn't part of it. People can make their own decisions and if the past year has taught us anything, we all need a drink or two now and then.

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