I saw this the other day and find it incredibly hard to believe. I mean I know there are plenty of functioning alcoholics out there and lots of people who drink to serious excess on the weekend. But can it really be possible that there are 24 million Americans averaging 10 drinks a day?
I’m surprised that as many as 30% of Americans don’t drink. I don’t, and feel like a lot of social situations just aren’t for me because of it.
My father was a pretty serious alcoholic until about 20 years back. He drank a hell of a lot, but I have a hard time picturing even him knocking back 10 hits a day.
The box by the graphic is correct, but the headline isn’t. The 74 drinks is the average of the top decile, so as a level of absolute consumption could conceivably relate to just 1% of the top 10%, or 99% of the top 10%, or a zillion other possibilities.
Correct: ‘the top 10%… consumean average of74 drinks per week, or a little more than 10 drinks a day’
Incorrect: ‘10% of Americans have 10 or more alcoholic drinks every day’
I saw this a couple of weeks ago.
Seems…odd. 60% of American adults basically don’t drink at all, and the top 10% drink 75% of all alcohol consumed (at a staggering rate)?
I found this for the UK, which doesn’t have this much detail in it, but suggests ~40% don’t drink, but it doesn’t have a rate above ‘almost every day’.
A flat of beer -2 in 24 hrs; tragic, but doesn’t seem surprising, this is the person who only lives to 60 somehow staying successful, or commits suicide by EtOH-liver, or looses the house and goes on to shoplift cheap perfume to drink and dies of DTs when cut off from their gabba replacement in the drunk tank.
The 0 drinks/wk % doesnt seem surprising either, I am bored by open binge drunks and while I like wine and beer if I brew it or am in PDX I mostly use wine for cooking. For some reason the wine gets tasted to be sure it is good enough for cooking, never cook with that you wouldn’t drink.
Ten percent? I just want to know how many I need to consume in order be in the1%…
And what article is linked at the bottom of the original article:
I stopped drinking for a while a few months back. The amount of peer pressure is staggering. Apparently I was no fun.
The histogram is labeled
“Average number of drinks per capita consumed in the past week, by decile, among adults aged 18 and over.”
Ask me that question right now? zero
Ask me the week before that? 750 ml of 28 proof wine over three or four days-- 10 units
Ask me the week before that–probably five (one drink per day for 14-15 days-- case of newcastle brown. and that’s 4.7% alcohol, 360 ml, 1.6 units each, so 8 units? Is the histogram in units, or drinks?
And before that? Zero.
I realize that “the past week” is a data gathering method designed to guard against hazy recollections, but it doesn’t really work all that well for people who drink on a inconsistent basis. Moreover, the British themselves suggest
But also, have 2-3 alcohol-free days a week to allow the liver time to recover after drinking anything but the smallest amount of alcohol
So if one does things correctly, one could conceivably flit between deciles from week to week. I am, however, a misanthropic bachelor, so there is that.
Mormons and various strict Protestant denominations (like Southern Baptists) don’t drink so that probably contributes a fair amount. Although I’m suspicious of self reporting as presumably these figures are. The old joke is never go fishing with a Mormon – he’ll drink all your beer. Go fishing with two Mormons – they’ll watch each other and your beer will be safe.
Another source of inconsistency in the results is that they seem to rely on the responder not just reporting their drinking correctly, but also converting it into standardised “drinks” correctly (If this is using U.S. standard drinks, each one is equal to 14g of pure ethanol, or ~1.8 UK standard units).
And confusingly, for this graph, people’s 10 standard drinks may arrive in far fewer than 10 glasses.
Well, not fun to people who need both a drink and drunk friends to have fun.
I have been part of that metric…for years: 10 drinks is and has been the line in the sand: under; can function…mostly
Over the line…it’s big problem. Still, a ‘drink’ is like a ‘serving size’…a surprising amount of calories for less than you want to put in your mouth. When I work, I can’t (Thank God) drink alcohol…but when my time is mine…cheers.
Today was an average drinking day: A Pliney The Elder and two Big Chicken IPAs during lunch at The Monks Kettle after archery practice. Later I drop wife off at her work, go to my favorite bar and have 2 cocktails: rum, honey, lime, sparkling wine…leave, buy dinner and bottle, go home. Watch baseball while drinking sparkling cava and eating tandoori chicken. Later pick up wife from work and have one glass of sweet, strong sake…go home. And everything is A-OK…
Did you really write the phrase, “eye-popping stat”? Really?
I was up in the woods the other day. 9 AM. Saw two gentlemen each opening their second 20 oz Bud ICE of the day.
Walk around for a few blocks near any urban liquor store that sells nips. Then again a few days later. look at all the new nips.
Go to the legion hall. There is one in your town, and it’s full by 2pm.
Yes. Sadly, yes.
I am all for letting you choose how you spend your day, so if you fancy that to drink fair enough, but that sounds like you are drink driving which is definitely not cool.
Do you even statistics?
(If you ask enough people the same question, the fact that YOU, personally, had a big week last week is balanced by old Harry Broken Liver over there having a quiet week because this week his mortgage is due. That’s why it’s ‘an average’, not ‘what Jerwin drank last week.’ )
[quote=“Purplecat, post:11, topic:42550, full:true”]
Another source of inconsistency in the results is that they seem to rely on the responder not just reporting their drinking correctly, but also converting it into standardised “drinks” correctly (If this is using U.S. standard drinks, each one is equal to 14g of pure ethanol, or ~1.8 UK standard units). And confusingly, for this graph, people’s 10 standard drinks may arrive in far fewer than 10 glasses.[/quote]
Do you think it’s at all possible that the people conducting the survey just might know what they’re doing, and so they asked people what they actually drank (three cans of beer, four glasses of wine, two shots of tequila, whatever), and then afterwards - back in the office - converted that to standard drinks so everyone was on the same footing?
It’d also be fairly easy to to a back-correlation cross-check by finding out the total amount of booze produced and/or sold and comparing that to reported consumption to better fit the curve.
It turns out that Americans apparently buy twice as much alcohol as they consume. So everything is multiplied by 1.97-- which assumes that the top heavy distribution is correct, and it’s not just consummate waste.
Hold on, you yanks get bigger drinks? Dammit.