Monday, January 16, 2012

I must not drink enough!

Today, on the anniversary of the beginning of prohibition in 1919, I came across an interesting (if not terribly well written) article in the NYT last week about the prevalence of binge drinking. It makes me look reealllly good.

However, I have two problems with the article, which are below. See if you catch the same things I did, or if I'm totally misinterpreting something.  (My emphasis.)

Binge drinking prevalence increased with household income. About 20 percent of people who earn $75,000 or more annually reported binge drinking. However, the data showed that people with lower incomes tend to binge more frequently and consume more alcohol per sitting.
Over all, states with the highest age-adjusted prevalence of adult binge drinking were in the Midwest and New England, and included the District of Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii.

Now, in the first one, they may have meant that a higher proportion of wealthier people binge drink, but of those poor people who do binge drink, they tend to do it more frequently, but they didn't say it very clearly.

The second one has no explanation.

And while I consider the amount of drinking that I do to be on the higher side of what is reasonable for someone of my age, I'm apparently waaay behind the curve.  I don't remember the last time I had nine drinks in a sitting [wait a minute, could that be a correlation?], and I definitely don't do that five times a month!  Sheesh, bunch of drunks out there!  

Reminds me of this exchange from Marketplace Radio just before New Years that finds that walking drunk is 800% more dangerous than driving drunk (per mile traveled).  Worth a listen / read.  

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