A new study finds 8 percent of men and 3 percent of women are heavy drinkers, according to government guidelines.
On any given day, 18 percent of men and 11 percent of women drink more alcohol than advised by federal dietary guidelines, Reuters reports.
The recommended limit is two drinks per day for men and one for women, the article notes. The study found 8 percent of men had five or more drinks, and 3 percent of women had four or more.
"And in fact, most adults don't drink at all on any given day. But the fact remains that it is a significant public health problem that many people do drink in excess," Patricia Guenther, the lead study author and a nutritionist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, told Reuters.
Among males, the largest percentage of heavy drinkers was found in the 31-to-50-year-old age group. Among women, the heaviest drinkers were ages 51 to 70. "People need to be aware that there are people of all ages who drink to excess," Guenther said. The researchers studied data from about 5,400 adults over age 21. They found 64 percent of men and 79 percent of women did not drink any alcohol the day they were surveyed. They reported their findings in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.