Americans of all ethnic groups increased their intake of alcoholic beverages since the 1990s, according to a new study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Raul Caetano and his colleagues reported an increase in the percentage of Hispanics, African Americans, and Caucasians who drink between 1992 and 2002. However, the only demographic that increased the number of drinks consumed per person during that decade was Caucasian women.
Caucasians were more likely to be binge drinkers, a term which refers to people who consume five or more drinks during one sitting. Males under 60 years old without college degrees were most likely to drink than other demographics. Being unmarried and unemployed added to the likelihood that they were drinkers.
Dr. Caetano's team went through data from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey and the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions, two surveys of 43,000 people conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
"The reasons for the uptick vary and may involve complex socio-demographic changes in the population, but the findings are clear -- more people are consuming alcohol now than in the early 1990s," said Dr. Caetano. He concluded that new public health policies such as limits on the advertising of alcohol and increasing beverage taxes may be needed.
The study appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Labels: alcohol_abuse, binge drinking
Posted By: Adolescent Substance Abuse 1 Comment