Author Koren Zailckas received plenty of free publicity for her memoir Smashed from CBS' Sharyn Alfonsi. Alfonsi used Zailckas' anecdotes to illustrate statistics from the Centers for Disease Control about teenage alcohol use. Zailckas told us of her love for Southern Comfort as a 14-year-old, her pumped stomach as a 16-year-old, her blacked-out first night of sex at age 19.
Alfonsi's use of the statistics was not as clear as it should have been: she cited the figure that 64% of teenage drinkers have "binged," defined as at least five drinks in a given session. She separated that from the statistic that 45% of teenagers are drinkers. Yet combining those two numbers together means that only 29% of teenagers have indulged in binge drinking, making Zailckas' tales atypical.
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