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American Alcohol Habits

American Alcohol Consumption on the Rise

posted 02:41 AM EST, Wed July 21, 2010
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Texas University researchers who studied the alcohol consumption habits of different groups say that whites are drinking more alcohol than they did in 1992 and that more Hispanics and blacks are drinking today than they did in 1992.

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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  • More Americans Drinking: Researchers say that more Americans are drinking today than were in 1992
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