New CDC data shows that American adults actually consume up to 17.5 billion drinks a year, amounting to about seven drinks consumed at one time. What exactly binge drinking can do to the body?
17.5 Billion Drinks In A Year
According to new data from the CDC, each U.S. binge drinker consumed about 470 drinks in 2015. That comes up to a staggering total of 17.5 billion binge drinks in a single year.
Interestingly, although binge drinking is more prevalent among young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, over half of the binged drinks were consumed by those 35 years old and above.
Furthermore, the data revealed that four out of five alcoholic drinks were found to have been consumed by men. Those who come from a low-income household and had lower educational levels were found to have consumed more drinks than those from higher-income households and attained higher educational levels.
As defined by the CDC, binge drinking is having, on a single occasion, four or more drinks for women, and five or more drinks for men. In a recent analysis of CDC data, North Dakota was found to be the state with the highest prevalence of excessive alcohol drinking, which considered both binge and heavy drinking.
What exactly can happen to the bodies of those with such drinking habits? Alcohol can affect the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and immune system, not to mention, increase the risk of certain cancers.
Effects Of Binge Drinking On The Body
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, either on a single occasion or gradually over a long period of time, can have negative effects on some of the body's most vital organs.
For one thing, alcohol can interfere with the brain's communication pathways and affect the way it works. This could lead to behavior and mood problems and can make it difficult for a person to think coherently and clearly.
Although some studies have shown that drinking modest amounts of alcohol can benefit the coronary health of healthy adults, drinking a lot of it can lead to irregular heartbeat, cardiomyopathy, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Alcohol may also affect the liver and pancreas, as it can prompt the pancreas to create toxic substances that can possibly lead to pancreatitis, and the liver may have problems such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, fibrosis and fatty liver.
Too much alcohol may also increase an individual's risk of developing some cancers such as liver, breast, mouth, and throat cancer.
A more immediate effect of alcohol on the body is that drinking excessive amounts of it on a single occasion could slow down the body's ability to deflect infections for up to 24 hours after getting drunk, making the body an easier target for disease and infection.
A Small Way To Control Alcohol Consumption
Naturally, people have different reactions to alcohol, as some may tolerate a couple of drinks without getting drunk while others can only handle one drink.
Apart from trying to get to know how much the body can handle, the NIAAA suggests simply getting to know the alcohol content of the drink beforehand. In a way, it could help determine the risk of having that drink.
It's worth noting that those who drink too quickly, have certain health conditions, are over the age of 65, taking medications, pregnant, or planning to drive, or using a machinery may want to limit alcohol consumption or abstain from it completely.