Americans binge 17 billion drinks a year, CDC estimates

College students have a reputation for binge drinking, but it’s not just them. Americans drink massive amounts of alcoholic beverages, according to a new report

» RELATED: Even one drink per day can increase your risk of cancer, study warns

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, to determine how much booze United States citizens down. 

To do so, they examined information from CDC’s 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included self-reported data on individuals’ liquor consumption habits over 30 days. They calculated the annual binge drinking by “multiplying the estimated total number of binge drinking episodes among binge drinkers by the average largest number of drinks consumed per episode,” the authors wrote. 

After analyzing the results, they found the Americans guzzled 17 billion drinks in 2015. That equals 470 total binge drinks per binge drinker.

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“This study shows that binge drinkers are consuming a huge number of drinks per year, greatly increasing their chances of harming themselves and others,” co-author Robert Brewer said in a statement.

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The prevalence of binge drinking was more common among young adults aged 18-34, but more than half of the binge drinks consumed annually were by adults 35 and older.

Furthermore, about 80 percent of the drinks were consumed by men. And those who made less than $25,000 a year and had educational levels less than high school drank “substantially more” a year than those with higher incomes and educational levels. 

The researchers said the results “show the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to prevent binge drinking, focusing on reducing both the number of times people binge drink and the amount they drink when they binge.”

With their findings, the researchers hope to implement prevention tactics such as reducing the number of alcohol outlets in a geographic area and limiting the days and hours of sale.

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