CDC: White young men often binge drinkers

April 2, 2009 at 1:48 PM

ATLANTA, April 2 (UPI) -- Binge drinking is a common behavior among U.S. adults particularly among white men ages 18-34 making $50,000 or more annually, federal health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report said effective population-based interventions to prevent excessive and binge drinking like maintaining and enforcing the age 21 minimum legal drinking age, increasing alcohol excise taxes, decreasing alcohol outlet density and increasing screening and counseling for alcohol misuse should be widely implemented.

For the study binge drinking was defined as having five or more drinks on an occasion.

The study, which analyzed data from 62,684 respondents to the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 14 states, reported that binge drinkers said they had an average of four binge episodes per month, and consumed an average of eight drinks per binge ranging from 9.8 drinks per binge among those ages 18-24 to 6.4 drinks per binge for those age 65 and older.

Binge drinkers who were black or American Indian/Inuit binge drank more frequently -- 4.9 times per month -- than other populations.

"In general, binge drinkers engaged in this behavior frequently and at drinking levels that exceeded the dangerous five-drink binge threshold by an average of about 60 percent across all socio-demographic groups," the study said.

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