American Alcohol Consumption on the Rise
To get a better idea of how American’s are drinking today and how that differs from 10 and 20 years past, researchers at the University of Texas compared data from the 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (on 42,862 people) with data from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions (43 093 people.)
They found that:
- More whites, Hispanics and blacks reported drinking in 2002 than in 1992
- Although more Hispanics and blacks reported drinking in 2002, on average, individual drinkers from within these 2 population groups did not report drinking any more than they did in 1992.
- Although the total number of whites who drank alcohol did not increase, the average amount consumed by those that did drink did increase over that 10 year period
- More people across all groups reported binge drinking at least once a month
Researchers say that although epidemiological information on alcohol consumption is useful, that explaining why certain changes occur can be a very complicated business.
In commenting on the study, Raul Caetano, Dean of the Texas University School of Public Health explained, "Trends in drinking are linked to a complex web of factors…Changes in the sociodemographic composition of the population such as aging, the influx of immigrant groups, and a decline in mean income level because of economic recessions can all influence trends in drinking and problems."
The full research results can be read in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
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