Millennials May Be Drinking Less, But Binge Drinking Is On the Rise Among Older Adults

Much has been made lately of millennials drinking less—and as America’s younger generations shift toward sobriety, recent research suggests the opposite is happening among its older ones. A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that, from 2015-2017, more than 10% of adults 65 and older said they had binge drank—defined as consuming five or more drinks in one sitting for men, or four or more for women— in the past month, up from about 7% in 2006. That’s in keeping with other studies that have charted increases in excessive drinking among elderly adults, including one that pointed to a 65% increase in high-risk drinking in this population from 2001 to 2013. The latest number may even be an underestimate, the researchers note, because the study was based on self-reported data from the 2015-2017 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. These responses can be inaccurate either because people forget how much they actually consumed, or because they purposely downplay habits they know are risky or carry a social stigma. Binge drinking is historically most common among young people and, despite cultural trends driving millennials to drink more mindfully, that’s still true. About a third of adults ages 18 to 25 reported binge drinking in the past month, according to the most recent NSDUH, though there are signs that rates are dropping among young people and college students. It’s not entirely clear why the...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized embargoed study public health Source Type: news

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