Americans Drink Too Much According To Study

Megan Charles

A drinking analysis published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics claims Americans are still imbibing too much alcohol. The purpose of this analysis was to estimate the percentages of adults who, on a given day, drank more than recommended by federal and dietary guidelines in the US.

Intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2009 to 2010 were analyzed. 24-hour dietary recalls were collected from 2,740 men and 2,941 women. All subjects were of legal drinking age (21) and older. It was estimated, based on projected terms of the study, 36 percent of men and 21 percent of women consumed alcohol on any given day.

Patricia Guenther, a nutritionist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, asserts many people continue to drink in excess, laying the foundation for a significant public health problem.

Federal dietary guidelines have suggested limiting alcohol intake to two drinks or less per day. A drink is defined as one 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. The focus is more on the alcohol percentages by volume (ABV) within the consumed ounces.

The study revealed 18 percent of men and 11 percent of women excessively imbibe beyond the minimum recommended amount of alcohol daily in the US. In addition 7 percent of men and 3 percent of women were considered "heavy" drinkers.

Heavy drinkers are those who exceeded daily recommended guidelines, taking in at least three drinks. This varied by age group, not isolated to just college-age individuals. Alcohol abuse was highest among men age 31 to 50 years and women age 51 to 70 years.

Studies have argued both the health benefits and risks associated with drinking. The Inquisitr recently reported in contrast to the recommended guidelines, how even sporadic to less than moderate alcohol consumption contributes to one in 30 cancer related deaths.

Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) and alcohol abuse are different forms of problem drinking. Drinking can lead to both short term and long term negative health effects such as loss of judgment or inhibition, loss of coordination and balance, blurred vision, and vomiting. Long term effects can include depression, liver failure, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer, epilepsy, nerve damage, and heart failure.

Habitual excess can lead to blackouts, unconsciousness, coma, and even death. There have been incidences where people died as a result of passing out and choking to death on their own vomit.

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