Americans are buying, consuming more alcohol during COVID-19: Study

*Besides negative physical health associations, excessive alcohol use may lead to or worsen existing mental health problems, including anxiety or depression, which may be increasing during COVID-19, say researchers

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In line with some of the first survey-based information that showed how much alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, a fresh research published inJAMA Network Open has also examined the RAND American Life survey from May and June of 2020.

Report indicates the study found that the frequency of alcohol consumption increased from an average of 5.48 drinking days a month to 6.22 days.

Michael Pollard, lead author of the study and sociologist at RAND, said: “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….”

It was further learnt that alcohol sales increased dramatically at the beginning of COVID shutdowns in the United States.

By the end of April 2020, Nielsen reported that online alcohol sales had increased by 477% from 2019.

It’s easy to joke about COVID driving people to drink, but there are real health consequences of increasing alcohol consumption.

Women who reported an increase in alcohol consumption also reported a 39% increase in risky behaviour and damaged relationships while drunk, according to the study.

These data provide evidence of changes in alcohol use and associated consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides a range of negative physical health associations, excessive alcohol use may lead to or worsen existing mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, which may themselves be increasing during COVID-19.”

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