CDC says 38 million Americans drink too much
A new report from the Ccenters for Disease Control (CDC) says that only one in six Americans talk to their health professionals about their drinking habits, and that at least 38 million Americans drink too much--mostly without realizing it.
According to the CDC, “drinking too much” includes five or more drinks for men, or four or more drinks for women, on one occasion lasting two to three hours. Or it could mean 15 or more drinks on average for men, or eight or more drinks on average for women per week.
The CDC says alcohol screening and counseling has been proven to work and that doctors, nurses and other health professionals should screen all adult patients--ncluding pregnant women--and counsel those who drink too much. The agency contends that screening and counseling can reduce binge drinking by lowering the amount heavy drinkers consume on one occasion by 25 percent.
Too much alcohol consumption can lead to type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, heart disease, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and sudden infant death syndrome. In terms of improving health and saving money, the CDC compares alcohol screening and brief counseling to blood pressure screening, flu vaccination, and screening for breast cancer and cholesterol.
The Affordable Care Act requires new health insurance to cover this service without a co-payment.