Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beer's On Tap For Binge Drinkers

Date:
September 5, 2007
Source:
Center for the Advancement of Health
Summary:
Beer is the beverage of choice for most adult binge drinkers, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The beverage preferences of excessive drinkers are important to public health because binge drinking is a common problem in the United States and because binge drinkers -- and those around them -- are especially vulnerable to alcohol-related problems, said one of the researchers.

Beer is the beverage of choice for most adult binge drinkers, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The beverage preferences of excessive drinkers are important to public health because binge drinking is a common problem in the United States and because binge drinkers — and those around them — are especially vulnerable to alcohol-related problems, said lead study author Timothy Naimi, M.D.

“This study isn’t looking at alcohol consumed by people drinking responsibly, or moderately; this is alcohol consumed by people drinking five or more drinks in a sitting, so almost all of them are going to be impaired — if not overtly intoxicated. This is exactly the kind of drinking behavior that leads to so many deaths and secondhand problems that inflict real pain and costs on society, not just the drinker,” said Naimi, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC’s Division of Adult and Community Health.

The study, which appears in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, reports on the beverage preferences of more than 14,000 binge drinkers across 18 states.

Seventy-four percent of the binge drinkers surveyed said they drank beer exclusively or predominantly in their most recent binge-drinking episode. Beer accounted for 67 percent of binge drinks consumed; distilled spirits or liquor was second with 22 percent of drinks; and wine and other flavored premixed drinks accounted for 11 percent of binge drinks.

Beer was also the first choice of drinkers who are most likely to cause harm because of alcohol-fueled behavior.

“These are some of the most dangerous groups — underage drinkers, people who drank eight or more drinks on one occasion and people who drove during or just after their drinking episode,” Naimi said.

Naimi and his colleagues are calling for more equal — and stringent — laws and policies to limit excessive drinking across all types of alcoholic beverages.

“Sadly, there’s lots of binge drinking going on with all kinds of drinks, and there are lots of effective polices that haven’t been widely adopted,” Naimi said. “And there are other laws, like those related to selling alcohol to minors or selling to those who are already drunk, that aren’t reliably enforced.”

Laws that tax alcohol and limit its accessibility work well to curb excessive drinking, but in the United States beer sales enjoy favorable treatment over liquor and wine, according to the CDC researchers.

“Beer is sold in far more locations, especially outlets like convenience stores and gas stations — where impulse purchases are common. Beer taxes at the state and federal level are low and beer is king in terms of aggressive marketing to young adults, who are especially likely to drink and get drunk,” Naimi said.

“All of these factors may, and I underscore ‘may,’ contribute to our study findings,” he said. “Choosing a beverage is extremely complex and some of the decision might be governed by these policy factors; some of it might be governed by social factors, family habits or country of origin. It’s a complicated formula and it’s a very important limitation of the study.”

"But from a public health standpoint, it doesn’t make sense that beer is marketed, taxed and distributed in a more permissive way than other beverages," Naimi said.

Legal and public policy researcher James Mosher said toughening up beer-control laws is a good first step toward reducing binge-drinking ills.

“These public policy measures are effective. We know that if we raise the price we are going to reduce underage drinking and binge drinking. Trying to change culture and longtime habits is just very difficult to do,” said Mosher, director of the Center for the Study of Law and Enforcement Policy at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

“There’s this popular belief that beer is the alcoholic beverage of moderation and that it is really not as dangerous as distilled spirits. This study really challenges that popular notion,” he said.

Reference: Naimi TS, et al. What do binge drinkers drink? Implications for alcohol control policy. Am J Prev Med 33(3), 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for the Advancement of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center for the Advancement of Health. "Beer's On Tap For Binge Drinkers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831143158.htm>.
Center for the Advancement of Health. (2007, September 5). Beer's On Tap For Binge Drinkers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831143158.htm
Center for the Advancement of Health. "Beer's On Tap For Binge Drinkers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831143158.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins