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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

March 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM

CDC: Seattleites biggest binge drinkers in the Northwest

bingedrinking2How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend?  There’s plenty to do — you could catch the parade downtown, and perhaps take in the festivities at the Seattle Center.  Or are you among the thousands planning to lift a pint in honor of Ireland’s patron saint — and then keep lifting them all weekend?

Let’s face it: for a lot of folks, St. Patrick’s Day is less about celebrating Irish culture and heritage and more about celebrating Irish beer and whiskey.  And Seattleites can hold their own when it comes to this type of celebrating.  In fact, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, 16.9 percent of adults in the Seattle metro area say they have binged* on alcohol in the past 30 days.  That pencils out to about 338,000 people from King and Snohomish counties who’ve gone on a bender in the past month.

It also ranks the Seattle area 18th among the 50 largest metros in the U.S. for the percentage of residents who binge on alcohol.  And among all the areas in the Northwest that the CDC measures, Seattle ranks No. 1.

Here are the full rankings for the Northwest:

—————

Northwest Rank Metropolitan Area % Binge Drinkers
1 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA 16.9
2 Spokane, WA 14.9
3 Bremerton-Silverdale, WA 14.7
4 Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA 14.7
5 Tacoma, WA 14.2
6 Lewiston, ID-WA 14
7 Olympia, WA 13.5
8 Yakima, WA 13.5
9 Eugene-Springfield, OR 13
10 Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, WA 11.1

Source: Centers for Disease Control, 2010

*A binge, as defined by the CDC, is  5 or more alcoholic drinks in a short period of time for a man, or four or more for a woman.

Keep in mind, there are myriad health risks associated with binge drinking, and data show that alcohol-related traffic fatalities always spike during during St. Patrick’s Day.

Have a good time this weekend — and stay safe.

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Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: alcohol

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