Maybe you’re out for a birthday, or a retirement party or maybe just because it’s Friday–whatever the reason, binge drinking amongst Americans is up, and doctors are not happy about it.
Now, before we get into what exactly this study shows, it is worth taking the time to clarify what exactly we are classifying as binge drinking. Normally, binge drinking is when a person consumes five or more alcoholic drinks in a single outing. However, this study defines binge drinking as seven or more drinks in an outing. Even with the higher bar, this study found that Americans are experiencing a measurable uptick in binge drinking.
CDC researchers looked at the drinking habits of over 400,000 Americans. They found that 17% of U.S. adults were binge drinking, but that’s not the most surprising part of the study. Those adults that did admit to binge drinking said that they do so an average of 53 times a year. That means that the average U.S. binge drinker is doing so more than once a week.
Dr. David Streem from Cleveland Clinic spoke with Fox 2 about the report, saying that “When you consider that the minimum definition of binge drinking is four or five drinks per two-hour session, this is significantly higher than that and it is with a frequency that should really cause people to sit up and take notice,”.
The bottom line is this: Americans are drinking too much, and it’s having a measurable effect on people’s health. “Generally speaking, Americans drink too much. And we would be well-served as a nation, both in terms of our health, our safety and our quality of life if we drank less,” said Dr. Streem.