Considering all the beer festivals and other related events that I’ve been to I wouldn’t be totally inclined to disagree.
However, the question the CDC asked on their survey kind of defines a large portion of Americans as binge drinkers. Basically anyone who drinks four or five servings of alcohol on one “occasion” is a binge drinker.
Based on more recent survey data, the CDC now warns that “binge drinking* is a bigger problem than previously thought,” involving 38 million American adults. That asterisk is well-earned, because the CDC continues to define “binge drinking” as “men drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time or women drinking 4 or more drinks within a short period of time.” If a “short period of time” meant 15 minutes, most Americans (except the ones who are currently binge drinking) probably would agree this pattern of consumption is excessive. But the questionnaire used to generate the CDC’s data actually asks about drinks consumed “on an occasion,” which could refer to an evening, a day, or a two-week cruise. Even if we pick the shortest of these periods, an after-work cocktail plus a few glasses of wine during dinner, followed by a digestif or nightcap, would be enough to qualify as a binge.
If that’s the definition CDC is using for binge drinking then it doesn’t seem like a huge problem to me.
Then again, I’m not exactly surprised to hear of vaguery and trickery from a government agency. At any rate, I’m more concerned about politicians bingeing on power then I am Americans bingeing on liquor.
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