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Live near a bar? You may drink more, study says


It has long been debated whether or not easy access to alcohol encourages consumption.

After all, if you want to drink, you'll find a way, right? But a new study from Finland suggests that proximity to booze does change how much you consume--especially if you live near a bar.

Distance to a drink

The findings, published in the journal Addiction, suggest that how far you live from an alcohol establishment can be in direct proportion to how much you're drinking and how dangerous that drinking might become.

After analyzing data that came from about 78,000 people, the researchers found that people who lived up to a kilometer (about .6 miles) away from a bar were 13 percent more likely to engage in heavy alcohol use. Heavy drinking, for the purposes of the study, was defined as consuming more than 7 or 10 ounces a week for women and men, respectively.

Move farther away, decrease your risk

When these same people moved farther away from a bar, their risk for heavy drinking dropped by 17 percent, but increased by 17 percent when they moved closer to a bar.

The study--one of the first to look at how proximity to alcohol affects drinking behavior-- supports the idea that having easy accessibility to an alcohol-centered establishment can increase one's chance of "risky" drinking. This may be especially important for Finland, since, according to Medical News Today, the country's alcohol-related diseases have doubled over the last 20 years.

Source: Medical News Today
Source: New York Daily News