15 things you didn’t know about social drinking

1. 67% of Americans say they drink; the highest percentage since 1985. (Gallup Poll)

2. More Americans are binge drinking – consuming five or more drinks at one time. (University of North Texas Health Center)

3. The average American buys 33 gallons of alcoholic beverages a year. (NIAAA)

4. America’s drunkest state: New Hampshire (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

5. America’s drunkest city: Fresno, Calif. (Men’s Health)

6. #1 Party school: University of Georgia (Princeton Review)

7. 90 percent of patients with alcoholic liver disease said they were in a stable relationship, and drank socially with family, friends, and work colleagues. (Oxford Medical Journal)

8. After a night of drinking, the body’s ability to fight off infection is weakened for at least 24 hours. (BMC Immunology)

9. 44 percent of men who said they had a hangover once a month were 2.5 times more likely to die of a heart attack. (University of Kuopio, Finland)

10. Men who regularly have 3 alcohol beverages a week are 2.5 more likely to develop prostate cancer. (VA Medical Center)

11. As little as a single alcoholic beverage a day increases breast cancer risk in women. (Oxford University study)

12. Moderate female drinkers are 30 percent less likely to be overweight in mid-life than abstainers. (Archives of Internal Medicine)

13. Acetaldehyde, a powerful muscle poison created as the liver breaks down alcohol, is 30 times more toxic than alcohol itself. (Molecular Psychology)

14. Acetaldehyde causes premature skin aging and wrinkling by reducing elasticity and firmness, and dilating blood vessels, leading to broken veins. Drinking before bedtime is even worse, since the horizontal position of the body during sleep makes it easier for intoxicated capillaries to leak into soft tissue, resulting in skin stretching, facial puffiness, and faster wrinkle formation. (Janet Maccaro, Ph.D.)

15. Acetaldehyde contributes to your beer belly by signaling your body to stop burning fat. (Payal Banka, Nutritionist)

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