Apr 12th 2010 By Jeremy Taylor
Our happy hour fact to amaze your drinking buddies with.
The impact of your social network on your drinking habits extends to three degrees of separation.
Using the Framingham Heart Study
, which tracked more than 12,000 people for 30 years
, researchers found that the influence of close friends and those in your extended social circle can have just as much effect on how much you drink as genetics and family history.
A person whose friend drinks heavily is 50 percent more likely to drink heavily himself. In fact, just having a friend of a friend who abuses alcohol makes you 36 percent more likely to do the same. The researchers hope this information will aid in the development of more efficient alcohol-treatment programs.
And, to think, all this research came from before the age of Facebook
. Now cyber-acquaintances you have never even meet in real life can tempt you to drink by posting status updates and photos from their sloppy Friday night.