Important Facts for Alcohol Consumption - Binge Drinking
DefinitionPercentage of adults aged 18 years and older who reported binge drinking during the 30 days prior to the survey.
NumeratorNumber of survey respondents who reported binge drinking during the 30 days prior to the survey.
DenominatorNumber of survey respondents excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure" or "Refused" responses.
Data Interpretation IssuesQuestion Text 1989-2005: "Considering all types of alcoholic beverages, how many times during the past 30 days did you have 5 or more drinks on an occasion?" Question Text beginning in 2006: "Considering all types of alcoholic beverages, how many times during the past 30 days did you have X [X=5 for men, X=4 for women] or more drinks on an occasion?" Follow-up Question starting 2005: "During the past 30 days, what is the largest number of drinks you had on any occasion?" From 1989-2005, binge drinking on the BRFSS was defined as consuming five or more drinks of alcohol on an occasion one or more times during the past 30 days for both males and females. Starting in 2006, the definition of binge drinking changed to consuming five or more drinks on an occasion for men, or four or more drinks on an occasion for women one or more times during the past 30 days. Data for this indicator have been analyzed using this new definition. To reduce bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS survey methodology changed. In 2009, the survey began including surveys on cellular phones in addition to landline phones. And a new weighting methodology, known as "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) was implemented. More details about these changes can be found at: http://health.utah.gov/opha/publications/brfss/Raking/Raking%20impact%202011.pdf. As with all surveys, some error results from nonresponse (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions), and measurement (e.g., social desirability or recall bias). Error was minimized by use of strict calling protocols, good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.
Why Is This Important?Binge drinking is an indicator of potentially serious alcohol abuse, and is related to driving under the influence of alcohol. It is a problem nationally, especially among males and young adults. Alcohol abuse is strongly associated with injuries and violence, chronic liver disease, fetal alcohol syndrome, and risk of other acute and chronic health conditions. Binge drinking among women of childbearing age is a problem because of the risk for prenatal alcohol exposure. Birth defects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure can occur during the first 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy before a woman knows she is pregnant.
Healthy People Objective SA-14.3:Reduce the proportion of persons engaging in binge drinking during the past month--Adults aged 18 years and older
U.S. Target: 24.4 percent