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New Study — The Closer You Live to a Bar, the More You Drink

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According to a new study out of Finland that certainly spells bad news for our livers, the closer that someone lives to a bar, the greater the chance of them becoming a heavy drinker.

Researchers at the Institute of Occupational Health in Kuopio, Finland, tracked almost 55,000 adults for seven years and found that those who lived closer to bars were more likely to consume larger quantities of alcohol.

In fact, the study found that when a person moved 0.6 miles closer to a bar, the chance of them becoming a heavy drinker rose by 17 percent. Note that the study defined “heavy drinking” as more than 10 ounces of distilled alcohol a week for men and seven ounces for women.

But researchers point out that bar proximity isn’t necessarily a cause for increased imbibing. Instead, they say, drinkers may simply choose to live near bars. Still, the study also followed people who had bars move near their them and found similar results.

Further, the study determined that nine percent of people who lived an average of 400 feet away from a bar were heavy drinkers. When you increase the distance to 1.5 miles, the rate of heavy drinking drops to 7.5 percent.

Since the study was conducted in Finland and since drinking habits tend to vary by region, it’s difficult to say how these findings might apply to other countries, researchers say.

“For instance, in the UK and Australia, heavy drinking is reported to be more common than in Finland, whereas in the USA it is less common,” said lead researcher Jaana Halonen.

Nevertheless, we’re gonna start looking for a way out of our bar-laden neighborhood right away.

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