Seattle-area residents pride themselves on being healthy. They're smoking fewer cigarettes, they’re hiking and biking, they’re feigning gluten allergies at restaurants. But in one category, women who live in King County are national leaders in self-abuse.
King County women rank among the top 10 percent of heavy drinkers in the United States, according to research by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a global leader in health-related data gathering. The county is also in the top 25 percent for female binge drinking nationwide. Among local males, meanwhile, alcohol use is about average.
“Easily, the fastest increase in alcohol consumption in King County is among women,” says Ali Mokdad, a professor at the University of Washington and lead researcher behind the IHME’s data on drinking patterns. “They’re drinking more, they’re binge drinking more, and that’s alarming for a number of reasons.”
Drew Atkins is a journalist and writer in Seattle, and the recipient of numerous national and regional awards. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Seattle Times, The Oregonian, InvestigateWest, Geekwire, Seattle Magazine, and others. He also previously served as the managing editor of Crosscut. He can be contacted at email@example.com.