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What do binge drinkers drink? Implications for alcohol control policy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks on an occasion) is an important public health problem, little is known about which beverage types are consumed by binge drinkers. This knowledge could guide prevention efforts because beer, wine, and liquor are taxed, marketed, and distributed differently.

METHODS

Data from 14,150 adult binge drinkers who responded to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System binge-drinking module in 2003 and 2004 were analyzed. Information pertained to the amount of alcohol consumed during a binge drinker's most recent binge episode, including beverage-specific consumption.

RESULTS

Overall, 74.4% of binge drinkers consumed beer exclusively or predominantly, and those who consumed at least some beer accounted for 80.5% of all binge alcohol consumption. By beverage type, beer accounted for 67.1%, liquor for 21.9%, and wine accounted for 10.9% of binge drinks consumed. Beer also accounted for most of the alcohol consumed by those at highest risk of causing or incurring alcohol-related harm, including people aged 18-20 years (67.0% of drinks were beer); those with three or more binge episodes per month (70.7%); those drinking eight or more drinks per binge episode (69.9%); those binging in public places (64.4%); and those who drove during or within 2 hours of binge drinking (67.1%).

CONCLUSIONS

Beer accounted for two thirds of all alcohol consumed by binge drinkers and accounted for most alcohol consumed by those at greatest risk of causing or incurring alcohol-related harm. Lower excise taxes and relatively permissive sales and marketing practices for beer as compared with other beverage types may account for some of these findings. These findings suggest that equalizing alcohol control policies at more stringent levels would be an effective way to prevent excessive drinking.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Emerging Investigations and Analytic Methods Branch, Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. tbn7@cdc.gov

    , , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Alcohol Drinking
    Alcohol-Related Disorders
    Alcoholic Beverages
    Alcoholic Intoxication
    Automobile Driving
    Beer
    Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
    Commerce
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Public Policy
    Risk-Taking
    Taxes
    United States
    Wine

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    17826577

    Citation

    Naimi, Timothy S., et al. "What Do Binge Drinkers Drink? Implications for Alcohol Control Policy." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 33, no. 3, 2007, pp. 188-93.
    Naimi TS, Brewer RD, Miller JW, et al. What do binge drinkers drink? Implications for alcohol control policy. Am J Prev Med. 2007;33(3):188-93.
    Naimi, T. S., Brewer, R. D., Miller, J. W., Okoro, C., & Mehrotra, C. (2007). What do binge drinkers drink? Implications for alcohol control policy. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(3), pp. 188-93.
    Naimi TS, et al. What Do Binge Drinkers Drink? Implications for Alcohol Control Policy. Am J Prev Med. 2007;33(3):188-93. PubMed PMID: 17826577.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - What do binge drinkers drink? Implications for alcohol control policy. AU - Naimi,Timothy S, AU - Brewer,Robert D, AU - Miller,Jacqueline W, AU - Okoro,Catherine, AU - Mehrotra,Chetna, PY - 2006/12/11/received PY - 2007/03/27/revised PY - 2007/04/27/accepted PY - 2007/9/11/pubmed PY - 2007/12/6/medline PY - 2007/9/11/entrez SP - 188 EP - 93 JF - American journal of preventive medicine JO - Am J Prev Med VL - 33 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Although binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks on an occasion) is an important public health problem, little is known about which beverage types are consumed by binge drinkers. This knowledge could guide prevention efforts because beer, wine, and liquor are taxed, marketed, and distributed differently. METHODS: Data from 14,150 adult binge drinkers who responded to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System binge-drinking module in 2003 and 2004 were analyzed. Information pertained to the amount of alcohol consumed during a binge drinker's most recent binge episode, including beverage-specific consumption. RESULTS: Overall, 74.4% of binge drinkers consumed beer exclusively or predominantly, and those who consumed at least some beer accounted for 80.5% of all binge alcohol consumption. By beverage type, beer accounted for 67.1%, liquor for 21.9%, and wine accounted for 10.9% of binge drinks consumed. Beer also accounted for most of the alcohol consumed by those at highest risk of causing or incurring alcohol-related harm, including people aged 18-20 years (67.0% of drinks were beer); those with three or more binge episodes per month (70.7%); those drinking eight or more drinks per binge episode (69.9%); those binging in public places (64.4%); and those who drove during or within 2 hours of binge drinking (67.1%). CONCLUSIONS: Beer accounted for two thirds of all alcohol consumed by binge drinkers and accounted for most alcohol consumed by those at greatest risk of causing or incurring alcohol-related harm. Lower excise taxes and relatively permissive sales and marketing practices for beer as compared with other beverage types may account for some of these findings. These findings suggest that equalizing alcohol control policies at more stringent levels would be an effective way to prevent excessive drinking. SN - 0749-3797 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17826577/What_do_binge_drinkers_drink_Implications_for_alcohol_control_policy_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0749-3797(07)00283-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -