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America's 'alarming' binge-drinking problem: By the numbers
The CDC says far too many Americans are hooked on booze. Here, a numerical look at just how big our drinking problem really is
 
Somewhat surprisingly, Americans 65 and over tend to have more binge-drinking sessions each month than youngsters in the 18-24 age group, according to the CDC.
Somewhat surprisingly, Americans 65 and over tend to have more binge-drinking sessions each month than youngsters in the 18-24 age group, according to the CDC.
Max Power/Corbis

"After an alcohol-infused holiday season," many New Year's resolvers vowed to cut back on their drinking in January, says Carly Weeks in Canada's The Globe and Mail. Well, "a new report suggests many may want to cut back throughout the rest of the year as well." The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a major report on Wednesday outlining the "alarming" amount of binge-drinking in America, and the numbers are, well, sobering. Here's a look:

4
Drinks needed in a two-hour sitting to qualify as a "binge" for a woman

1
Maximum daily alcoholic drinks the CDC recommends as a limit for women

5
Drinks needed in a two-hour sitting to qualify as a "binge" for a man

2
Maximum daily alcoholic drinks the CDC recommends as a limit for men

7.9
Drinks consumed in the average binge-drinking session in the U.S.

17.1
Percent of U.S. adults who binge-drank at least four times a month in 2010. (That's 38 million people.)

4.4
Binge sessions that the average U.S. binge-drinker engages in each month

28.2
Percent of 18- to 24-year-olds who binge drink

9.3
Drinks per average session for bingers in the 18-24 group

4.2
Binge sessions that the average 18- to 24-year-old binger engages in each month

5.7
Drinks per average session for bingers 65 and up

5.5
Binge sessions that the average 65+ binger engages in each month

25.6
Percent of Wisconsin adults who are binge drinkers, the highest rate in the nation

10.9
Percent of Utah adults who are binge drinkers, the lowest rate

20.2
Percent of U.S. adults earning $75,000 a year or more who binge drink

16.2
Percent of U.S. adults earning $25,000 a year or less who binge drink

50
Percent of all beer, wine, and liquor consumed in the U.S. that goes down during binge sessions

90
Percent of all beer, wine, and liquor consumed in the 18-24 age group that goes down during binge sessions

20
Percent of binge drinkers who fit the medical definition of alcoholism

$223.5 billion
Annual estimated cost of America's drinking problem, including medical expenses, crime, and lost productivity

80,000
Americans who die each year from drinking-fueled causes, including drunk-driving and suicide

458,000
Adults the CDC surveyed to reach its conclusions. "I know this sounds astounding, but I think the numbers we're reporting are really an underestimate," says the CDC's Dr. Robert Brewer.

Source: AP, Bloomberg, CDC (2), Globe and Mail

 

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