Alcohol consumption has surged during coronavirus pandemic, especially ‘heavy drinking’ among women: study
It’s been a long pandemic, and American adults are bending an elbow more frequently than they did last year, a new study claims. The report also suggested that “heavy drinking” among women has surged 41% as the coronavirus crisis continues.
On Tuesday, the RAND Corporation released a study in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, highlighting changes in alcohol consumption among adults in the U.S. amid the ongoing outbreak, as compared to 2019.
In a survey of 1,540 adults on the “nationally representative” RAND American Life Panel, participants were asked to compare their drinking habits from spring 2019 (late April to early June) with those this spring (late May to mid-June).
According to the findings, overall alcohol consumption shot up 19% among adults ages 30 to 59; drinking also rose 17% among women and 10% among non-Hispanic white adults.
What’s more, “heavy drinking” – as defined by four or more drinks within a few hours – jumped 41% among the ladies from a year prior.
“We’ve had anecdotal information about people buying and consuming more alcohol, but this is some of the first survey-based information that shows how much alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic,” lead study author Dr. Michael Pollard said of the findings.
“Alcohol consumption can have significant negative health consequences, so this information suggests another way that the pandemic may be affecting the physical and mental health of Americans,” he added.
Moving forward, the authors suggested that further research could explore whether or not alcohol consumption continues to rise among American adults as the pandemic continues, and if psychological and physical well-being are affected as a result.
Almost immediately after the pandemic was declared a national emergency in mid-March, millions of Americans flew to the liquor store to stock up. Sales of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. rose 55% in the week ending March 21, Nielsen reported.