Binge drinkers are drinking MORE than ever, report finds

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Binge drinkers are drinking MORE than ever, report finds

The number of drinks had by binge drinkers in the US is on the rise, federal health officials say. While overall rates of binge drinking fell fro

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The number of drinks had by binge drinkers in the US is on the rise, federal health officials say. 

While overall rates of binge drinking fell from 18.9 percent in 2011 to 18.0 percent in 2017, the number of actual drinks increased.

The average number of alcoholic beverages had by binge drinkers during benders rose from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Interestingly, the spike wasn’t seen in college-age students but in adults aged 35 and older.   

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of alcoholic drinks consumed by binge drinkers rose from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017 (file image)

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of alcoholic drinks consumed by binge drinkers rose from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017 (file image)

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of alcoholic drinks consumed by binge drinkers rose from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017 (file image)

For the report, the CDC looked at self-reported data from binge drinkers from the agency’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System between 2011 and 2017. 

Binge drinking was defined as men having five or more drinks in one sitting and women having four or more drinks.  

The report found that the biggest spike in drinks consumed during one sitting occurred among adults between ages 35 and 44.

Binge drinkers consumed an average of 593 drinks in 2017 during binging episodes – a more than 25 percent increase in 2011.

And among those aged 45 to 64, there was a 23 percent increase from 428 in 2011 to 527 in 2017.

The CDC report revealed binge drinking rates increased as level of education decreased. 

The largest rises were seen among adults without a high school degree with 942 drinks per person in 2017, up from 646 in 2011.

Differences were also seen from state to state with Massachusetts residents binging the least amount of drinks at 320 per person and residents of Wyoming binging the most at 1,219 drinks per person.

Alcohol can have devastating consequences on physical health.

Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of heart disease, liver disease, sleep disorders, stroke, depression and several types of cancer.

They may also have problems managing diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.  

Past research has also found that heavy drinking may increase the risk of osteoporosis, a disease in which the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. 

What’s more, excessive drinking is responsible for one in 10 deaths among adults from ages 20 to 64 in the US ever year. 

The authors recommended policies to reduce binge drinking including increasing taxes on alcohol and enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws.

‘These findings highlight the need to reduce the total number of…drinks per adult who reported binge drinking by reducing the prevalence, frequency, and intensity of binge drinking,’ they wrote. 

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