Nightly News   |  January 07, 2014

Drinking Habit? Your Doctor Needs to Know, CDC Says

According to a new study, five out of six adults say no health professional has ever brought up the issue of alcohol consumption, despite the fact that drinking too much can cause all kinds of health problems.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> as we said earlier, our health news tonight has to do with drinking. how many millions of americans drink too much. and how rarely their doctors talk about it. we get our report from our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman .

>> gabrielle admits she used to unwind every night with two or three glasses of wine.

>> you knew you were going down a road you didn't like.

>> i was going down a road that was rendering me less effective.

>> she managed to cut back on her own, and then wrote a book. too many americans are able to keep the secret, because their doctors simply don't ask about their drinking habits. at least 38 million people in the united states drink too much and most are not alcoholics. yet three out of four binge drinkers say their doctors never discussed alcohol with them. binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men within a two-hour window. no more than two drinks a day for men, no more than one drink a day for women. never during pregnancy and never by anyone under the age of 21. what is a drink? five ounces of wine a day, 12 ounces of beer a day, and no more than 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor a day. the report is a call to action directing health care professionals to have this discussion with their patients.

>> it doesn't have to take more than five, ten or 15 minutes , what's remarkable is that brief interview can result in a substantial reduction of problem drinking for a long period of time.

>> these conversations are crucial because drinking too much can lead to heart disease , de men shah, breast cancer , unintended preg nancy, all kinds of violence, domestic problems. you do not have to be an alcoholic to have a problem. that is the take home message, tonight, brian.

>> as always, dr. nancy snyderman ,