CDC: Binge drinking among women under-recognized issue

The CDC said that binge drinking among women is an under-recognized issue / Jennifer Munoz (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The CDC recently reported that high school binge drinking significantly decreased, but local health experts say it's still a problem for people of all ages.

One in eight women ages 18 and over reported they binge drink, which the CDC believes is an under-reported problem.

Karen Snider said she didn't start drinking until later in life.

"I grew up in the south," Snider said. "It wasn't really socially acceptable for women to be drinking."

Now she said she feels more comfortable to drink.

"I think women are coming into their own a lot of them for the first time feel the freedom to do that kind of thing," Snider said.

She she does drink, she does it in moderation.

"One to two," Snider said. "I'm not drinking, I'm not to the point of binge drinking."

Jessica Hatcher with Coliseum Health said one drink per day for women is a healthy amount.

"When we talk about binge drinking we are talking about drinking an excess of six glasses or drinks a day for women," Hatcher said.

Former bartender Tyler Palumbo said many of the people at the bar would binge drink, including women.

"They would buy a drink as soon as their drink was finished because they didn't have a drink in their hand," Palumbo said.

Hatcher said binge drinking affects women of all ages and can have negative impacts to their health.

"A bottle of wine is over 600 calories so you are looking at the caloric intake," Hatcher said. "You are also looking at the intake it can have on your liver. In addition, binge drinkers are more prone to cancers of the mouth."

Other health effects are heart disease, breast cancer and mental illness.

Hatcher said awareness is the key in helping the problem.

"When you have that awareness that means let's pay attention to how frequently you are drinking, how much are you drinking when you drink and what are the consequences to your body and to you emotionally after you have a binge event," Hatcher said.

Health professionals consider one drink one and a half glasses of hard liquor, five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of most beers.

If someone notices drinking patterns are not normal or healthy, the best thing to do is seek help.

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