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Binge Drinking

December 16, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Making the transition from adolescence into young adulthood can be challenging, and it could also come with some health risks. A study finds that regular exercise may take a steep drop after high school, especially for young men. Researchers from McMaster University and the University of Toronto , both in Canada, followed 640 Canadian teens who were age 12 to 15 at the start of the study, interviewing them every two years, from 1994...
October 4, 2011
Drunk driving is down -- nearly 30% from its peak in 2006, if Americans responding to a recent survey can be believed.   Even so, an estimated 4 million Americans still admitted to at least once having operated a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, resulting in about 112 million "alcohol impaired driving episodes" and thousands of fatalities, wrote researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a paper published Tuesday...
September 15, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
An analysis of 31 studies on alcohol drinking patterns worldwide has found that people born in North America after World War II are more likely than other groups to engage in binge drinking and develop alcoholism. Younger groups consistently consume more alcohol than older generations.   Researchers, led by Katherine M. Keyes of Columbia University, evaluated data dating from 1948. She found that the United States differs from Western Europe and Australia because a larger number of Americans don't drink at all. But the number of nondrinkers in this country is declining.
April 8, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Drinking at a young age is simply bad for the brain, according to a growing number of studies. The latest study looks at the relationship between alcohol and the brain in mice. And the results are not pretty. Researchers gave mice alcohol daily for 10 days and later examined their brains with MRI. The mice who were drinkers in youth had smaller forebrain volume and size as adults. The study also found reduced activity in some genes that govern brain chemicals called neurotransmitters 24 hours after an alcohol binge in adolescent mice.
November 30, 2010 | By Kristena Hansen, Los Angeles Times
Eugene Hwang, a 41-year-old marketing executive from Westwood, uses a smart-phone application to record the distance he runs and calories burned, and then to share the information on his Facebook page with friends and other runners. He lost 20 pounds over the summer, a feat he said he accomplished only because his online friends were there to hold him accountable. But not everyone was supportive; Hwang said he occasionally saw comments accusing him of being a showoff. "I know some people get upset," he said.
November 9, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Alcohol policies surrounding football tailgating parties are common at many universities. Some schools ban alcohol at tailgating events entirely, others restrict alcohol to certain areas of the parking lots and others ban it during certain time periods, such as 30 minutes before kickoff. A new study shows that a majority of tailgaters were already well on their way to high blood-alcohol concentrations before the start of a college football game. Researchers from the University of Toledo studied tailgaters at a large Midwest college football game.
October 12, 2010
With the new school year underway, some college students are spending the year abroad. In addition to hitting the books and taking in the sights, they may also be drinking a lot more, a new study suggests. University of Washington researchers surveyed 177 study abroad students about their drinking habits before they departed for their new host country, during their stay (an average three to five months), and on their return. Overall, drinking more than doubled while abroad, but returned to pre-travel levels when the students returned.
March 1, 2010
African Americans have lower drinking rates than other racial groups, according to a new survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It found that blacks ages 18 and older use alcohol at a rate of 44.3% compared with the national average of 55.2% Moreover, blacks ages 18 to 25 are much less likely than other young adults to engage in binge drinking — 25.3% compared with 41.6% in the general population. The survey is part of a series conducted by SAMHSA to learn how to target alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention efforts in various age, gender and ethnic groups.
December 28, 2009 | By Jeannine Stein
Poverty appears to trump smoking, obesity and education as a health burden, potentially causing a loss of 8.2 years of perfect health. In a new study, researchers looked at health and life expectancy data from the National Health Interview Surveys and the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys and came up with various behavioral and social risk factors that affect quality of life, then used a formula to estimate the quality-adjusted years of life that...
December 15, 2009 | By Melissa Healy
The federal government's annual report of kids' alcohol and drug abuse seems reassuring: Compared with earlier in the decade, use of hallucinogens was down in 2008, marijuana use was way down, and use of methamphetamines was way, way down. But the researchers and public officials who crunch those numbers warned that some of the statistics gleaned from an annual survey of 46,000 American eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders were worrisome. Though drug and alcohol use seems to be declining or holding steady, there has been slippage in teen disapproval of such practices and perception of the risks, officials warned.
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