NEW YORK (MainStreet) —New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate binge drinking is becoming a big problem in the U.S.
According to the agency’s latest Vitals Signs report, more than 38 million adults nationwide binge drink an average of four times a month, consuming at most an average of eight drinks during each sitting.
The report defines binge drinking as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on an occasion. The CDC says binge drinking can lead to various health problems, including other unintentional injuries, liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease and sexually transmitted diseases, though it also carries economic implications.
Earlier data from the CDC indicates drinking too much costs the nation more than $223.5 billion in lost productivity and other miscellaneous economic costs.
The report, based on self-reports of binge drinking within the past 30 days for about 458,000 adults nationwide, found binge drinking is actually most prevalent among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more. However, the largest number of drinks consumed per occasion is significantly higher (an average of eight to nine drinks) among binge drinkers with household incomes of less than $25,000.
Similarly, the CDC found that while binge drinking is more common among young adults ages 18-34, individuals of retirement age or older who are prone to binge drinking will actually over-imbibe more often, at an average of five to six times a month.
The CDC says it is looking to take steps to address the problem.
“CDC is working in collaboration with our partners to strengthen binge-drinking prevention through improved public health surveillance of excessive alcohol use and by supporting the implementation of community-based prevention strategies that can reduce excessive drinking,” CDC spokesman Robert Brewer said in a written statement.
What does your vice cost you? Check out our rundown of some common vices like smoking and drinking and their cost to your health and your wallet.