The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a bombshell alcohol recommendation to women on Feb. 2 that led to an explosion of responses. I was among those who commented on the fray, and I primarily addressed how the evidence itself about alcohol and pregnancy was obscured by the resulting backlash.
I also mentioned that I had previously interpreted the evidence differently over several years of covering periodic studies about light drinking and pregnancy. I didn’t go into a great deal of detail, however, on how I made that switch, and I thought that process might be instructive for other health journalists covering such controversial issues in which the science can be confusing. Writing about risk, in particular, can be incredibly thorny. Continue reading
Pia Christensen/AHCJAli Mokdad of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington discusses new data on alcohol use in the United States.
Binge drinking and heavy drinking in the United States increased significantly in recent years, particularly among women, according to a new study presented today by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
While the overall rate of drinking remained constant between 2005 and 2012, heavy drinking increased 17.2 percent and binge drinking increased 8.9 percent during that time.
Heavy drinking was defined as averaging more than one drink per day during the past month (for women) or two drinks (for men). Binge drinking was defined as having four or more drinks at one occasion in the past month (for women) and five or more (for men). Continue reading