U.S. Adults Still Drinking Too Much

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on January 10, 2019 · 1 comment

Approximately 40% of adults in the US drink alcohol at levels that can risk their health. Researchers collected information from over 34,000 people and defined “at-risk” use of alcohol as 14 or more drinks a week or more than 4 drinks on one occasion for men and 7 drinks a week or more than 3 on one occasion for women.

The biggest predictors of moving to at-risk drinking was being young, male, not married, becoming divorced or separated, being in the military, being in good or excellent health, smoking, drug use, or having an alcohol use disorder. When they followed people over time they found that most continued to drink at at-risk levels unless some intervention occurred.

Interestingly, between the two rounds of the survey, researchers found that those who moved to the low-risk category of alcohol use were more likely to be black or Hispanic or had children between the two assessments. Others who moved to the low-risk category had gotten treatment for alcohol abuse.

Clearly, many young adults in the US have not gotten the message that drinking too much alcohol will have negative consequences to their health.

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