Americans are drinking less alcohol and middle-aged people are consuming about one-third less alcohol than they did 50 years ago, according to research by the Boston University School of Medicine.
The study, according to HealthDay reporter Steven Reinberg, shows that Americans are drinking less beer, though liquor consumption has remained steady while wine consumption has increased.
"It looks like moderate drinking has been increasing, heavy drinking is down a little bit, and total alcohol consumption is down a little bit," lead researcher Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, a professor of medicine and public health at Boston University School of Medicine, told HealthDay.
Ellison’s team collected data on 8,000 people who took part in the Framingham Heart Study.
Ellison explained that the Framingham study consisted primarily of white, middle-class individuals from the Massachusetts town of the same name.
"It generally tends to reflect trends within the country among middle-class, white Americans," he said. The researchers found that, overall, people are drinking less.
"People drank about a third more back in the ’50s and ’60s than they did in the ’70s up to 2004," Ellison said. There’s been a gradual decrease in the average amount of alcohol people drink. For instance, alcohol consumption among men has gone from about two-and-a-half drinks a day to one-and-a-half drinks a day.
"At the same time, there’s been a decrease in beer and an increase in wine consumption among people. But the average intake has decreased," Ellison said.
As for liquor, the average intake has remained pretty much the same.
The study findings were published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.