CDC: Rates of binge drinking not declining

More than one-quarter of high school students and young adults engage in binge drinking, according to a report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rates of binge drinking -- which is defined as women consuming four or more alcoholic beverages and men consuming five or more alcoholic beverages over a couple of hours -- have not declined in the past 15 years.

"Alarmingly, almost 1 in 3 adults and 2 in 3 high school students who drink alcohol also binge drink," report author Robert Brewer said.

According to CDC, drinking too much (including binge drinking) causes approximately 79,000 annual deaths in the United States. Consuming large amounts of alcohol over time can contribute to liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.

Results are based on data from 412,000 adults in the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and 16,000 high school students in the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance.

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