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Friday, May 31, 2013

Health Behaviors of Adults: United States, 2008–2010

This report is the most recent of a series of reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) that monitor the prevalence of five key health behaviors for U.S. adults, using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) (1–7). This report presents prevalence estimates for alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, leisure-time physical activity, body mass index (BMI) (based on self-reported weight and height), and hours of sleep for civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. adults aged 18 and over and for selected population subgroups. All tables show estimates for both sexes and for men and women separately by age, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, education, poverty status, marital status, geographic region, and place of residence [within or outside a metropolitan statistical area (MSA)]. Highlights are limited to findings for both sexes combined.

Chapter 3. Alcohol Use

Prevention of excessive alcohol use is a public health priority and is the focus of research and public health initiatives across a number of federal agencies (45–50). While light to moderate alcohol use has been associated with health benefits for many adults, especially in terms of cardiovascular risk, regular or episodic heavy drinking and binge drinking pose considerable health risks (49). Any amount of alcohol poses risks for pregnant women and for adults with an alcohol addiction (50). This chapter presents information on average alcohol use and episodic heavy drinking (that is, five or more drinks in 1 day) for U.S.
adults (Tables 3.1–3.4).
Nearly two-thirds of adults drink alcohol, with about 5% drinking at levels classified as ‘‘heavier’’—that is, women drink, on average, more than 7 drinks per week, and men drink, on average, more than 14 drinks per week. The prevalence of heavier drinking varies considerably by age, sex, and socioeconomic status. This chapter highlights selected findings for all adults by sex, age, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, education, poverty status, marital status, geographic region, and place of residence. Readers are encouraged to refer to the tables for additional details, particularly prevalence of alcohol consumption by men and women .

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