Study: American adults drinking 14 percent more often during pandemic

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 12:38 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With prior reports of local, state and national booms in alcohol sales earlier this year, comes updated data that digs into how much more Americans are drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent report in the journal, JAMA Network Open, American adults say they’re drinking 14 percent more often during the pandemic with a more pronounced increase for women, up 17 percent compared to last year.

People aged between 30 and 80 participated in the study, which took a sample of 1,540 of them and compared their self-reported drinking habits to those of last year. Nielsen reported in late March that stores sold 54 percent more alcohol and online alcohol sales more than doubles compared to last year.

A report from NPR cites a warning earlier this year from the World Health Organization European office against excessive drinking. The organization also advised limiting access to alcohol during the pandemic.

“Alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes,” the WHO stated. “Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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