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Study: Americans over 69 consuming alcohol at higher rate than 20 years ago

A study in "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research" indicates that older Americans are consuming alcohol at a much higher rate than they were 20 years ago / Brittany Collins (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- A study in "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research" indicates that older Americans are consuming alcohol at a much higher rate than they were 20 years ago.

The study say that today, the majority of U.S. adults over 69 years old consume alcoholic beverages. It predicts that this number is expected to almost double by 2050.

The rate of alcohol consumption among older men--59.9 percent--is also about 12.4 percent higher than that of older women--47.5 percent.

Bill Nettleton, owner of WineStyles in Macon, said that he believes older people are drinking more today because of the increased range of alcoholic beverages that are available on the market compared to when they were younger. He said he also sees more older people drinking beer and wine at social gatherings.

However, the study says that drinking too much alcohol can be harmful to your body by the age of 30 to 40. It says that the body loses lean tissue and gains fat, so when you drink more alcohol at an older age there is only so much it can hold.

Nettleton said that's why it is important to eat before and after you drink and also to drink water while you consume alcohol.

The study advocates for the importance of public health planning to meet future needs for alcohol-related programs to support the predicted increase in alcohol consumption among older adults.

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