Young NZ women drinking RTDs to 'hazardous levels' - Alcohol Healthwatch warns

Massey University has released research findings which reveals startling figures when it comes to young females and their consumption of RTDs.

Massey University research shows RTD guzzling young women are the new face of NZ's drinking problem. Source: Breakfast

Researchers Martin Wall and Sally Cresswell interviewed 2000 people for the study which helped define distinctive behaviour clusters that people fell into.

Females under the age of 24 who purchased RTDs have been shown to consume on average 24 litres of alco-pops per year, the research shows.

This is double what the female age group above them consume and also more than the heaviest male drinking cluster.

The researchers' study also revealed that problem drinking amongst young women wasn't an issue a generation ago when they looked at earlier research studies going back to the mid-eighties.

Alcohol Healthwatch executive director, Dr Nicki Jackson, says RTDs are attractive to young females as they contain twice the alcohol of a standard beer and the sweetness of the drink disguises the alcohol taste.

She also told TV1's Breakfast, "they are also heavily targeted and marketed towards young people, through social media in Facebook promotions" and that young women are consuming them to "hazardous levels".

Dr Jackson believes more needs to be done by the government around advertising guidelines when it comes to alcohol.

"The government implemented a review of alcohol advertising and sponsorship back in 2014 and every year we have been waiting for them to respond to the report they commissioned," she said.

She also says the study reveals cutting back the number of bottle shops and opening hours will help curb the problem.

The researchers' study, Drinker Types, Harm, and Policy-Related Variables: Result from the 2011 international Alcohol Control Study in New Zealand, is published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical And Experimental Research.