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Beer Consumption Fallen On Hard Times

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, August 07, 2008 12:46 PM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Alcohol Consumption, Drinking, Toxic Substances, Drinking and Driving

Alcohol consumption has shifted from beer to wine.

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IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockphoto/ toasting/ author: webphotographeer

 

Americans are drinking less than they did 50 years ago, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine report in a new study.

Middle-aged people are consuming about one-third less alcohol, primarily beer.  Researchers found that wine consumption is up slightly. Hard liquor consumption has remained steady.

"It looks like moderate drinking has been increasing, heavy drinking is down a little bit, and total alcohol consumption is down a little bit," said lead researcher Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, a professor of medicine and public health at Boston University School of Medicine.

When you calculate into the numbers the fact that many do not drink at all, overall, total alcohol consumption is down slightly. 

In the study, 8,000 people had their data collected who were all part of the Framingham Heart Study.

They were primarily white, middle-class people from Massachusetts. "It generally tends to reflect trends within the country among middle-class, white Americans," Dr. Ellison said.  Participants were asked about their lifestyle and health, and reported their alcohol consumption rates every four years from 1948 through 2003.  The participants were born from 1900 through 1959.

Alcohol consumption among men has declined from two-and-a-half drinks per day to one-and-a-half drinks, according to Dr. Ellison.  The average intake has declined despite the fact that preferences have shifted from beer to wine.

The number of people considered alcohol dependant did not show a decline, according to the study, and the study contradicts another reported in May by Washington University School of Medicine, which reported that there were more cases of alcoholism being reported among women born after 1953.

Researchers believe consumers are getting the message that binge drinking is bad, while moderate wine consumption can be good for your health. 

The findings are published in the August, The American Journal of Medicine. #


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