17 Percent Of American Adults Binge Drink

Looks like binge drinking is a bigger problem than we thought, and it's not just the college kids doing it.

Recent research from the CDC shows that 17 percent of American adults, or 38 million people, participate in binge drinking across the country. This is up 2 percent from 2009.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks for women, and five or more drinks for men during one occasion. U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest one drink a day for women, and no more than two drinks a day for men.

While the age group with the highest number of binge drinkers is predictably 18 to 34 years, the group that has binge drinkers who do most frequently is really the retired community — those 65 or older. This group reportedly binge drinks five to six times a month.

According to the CDC, Wisconsin has the most adults (25.6 percent of adults) who binge drink, where they peak with nine drinks an occasion, on average. The scary part is, researchers admit that the rate of binge drinking may be higher than reported, since people tend to undereport how much they drink.

According to the CDC, "Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and, in 2006 cost the economy $223.5 billion."

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.