New study finds women leading rise in U.S. binge drinking

Binge drinking is on the rise among Americans, especially women.

A new study by Columbia University found rates of binge drinking increasing for both men and women in nearly all age groups, with the largest increase among women ages 30-44 without children.

The only exception was among young men (ages 18-29) with children, among whom binge drinking declined. According to the study, men and women with children reported consistently lower levels of drinking than those without children. 

Binge drinking was defined as having more than five drinks at one time during the last two weeks.

However, despite the increases in binge drinking, heavy drinking, defined as binge drinking at least five times in the least 30 days, declined or remained stable for all groups except older women (ages 44-55) without children and women ages 30-44, regardless of parental status.

Researchers used data on nearly 240,000 adults from the National Health Interview survey, conducted by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics for the years 2006 to 2018.