Report: 1 in 6 Americans binge drink

January 18, 2012

Washington – Approximately 38 million U.S. adults – or about 17 percent of the population – are defined as binge drinkers, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report defines binge drinking as five or more alcoholic drinks at a time for men and four or more for women.

According to the report:

  • The majority of binge drinkers – more than 28 percent – are between 18 and 24 years old, and on average consume nine drinks per sitting.
  • Binge drinkers older than 65 binge the most frequently of any age group, an average of six times per month.
  • The majority of binge drinkers have incomes of $75,000 or more.
  • Binge drinking is responsible for more than half of the 80,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in the United States.

The report recommended that men limit themselves to two drinks daily and women limit themselves to one drink, and that government agencies pursue prevention strategies that combine the efforts of enforcement, health care and public health agencies.