The drinking habits of the people in your extended social group play a major role in determining how many adult beverages you consume, says researchers writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The authors suggest this social phenomenon could have implications for clinical and health interventions. Social networks could be used to exploit positive health behaviors and further support group interventions.
In the study, self-reported alcohol intake over time followed changes in the alcohol intake of the respondents' social contacts. The researchers found that a person was 50 percent more likely to drink heavily if a person they are directly connected with also drinks heavily and 36 percent more likely to drink heavily if a friend of a friend drinks heavily. The impact extended up to three degrees of separation.
Researchers used data from the Framingham Heart Study, which followed 12,067 people for more than 30 years and helped to define the patterns in social networks of other health issues such as obesity, smoking, and sexually transmitted diseases.
"We've found that the influence of your friends and people you have connections with can affect your health just as much as your family history or your genetic background," said Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and lead author of the study. "With regard to alcohol consumption, your social network may have both positive and negative health consequences, depending on the circumstances."
Citation: Rosenquist et al., 'The Spread of Alcohol Consumption Behavior in a Large Social Network', Ann Intern Med, April 2010, 152:426-433
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- A Dimuon Particle At 30 GeV In ALEPH ??
- President Obama, Why Humans On Mars Right Now Are Bad For Science
- Who Is Trying To Destroy The Internet?
- DDoS war: How zombie fridges bit the internet in the a$$ today.
- A Racist On The Jews: Let The Donald Trump!
- Metaphors in Quantum Mechanics
- Journalists - Please Fact Check Your "Doomsday" News Stories -They Terrify Young Children And Vulnerable People
- "/* Hallelujah, HEP is saved! */ Are we doing research for saving some branch of physics? The science..."
- "Right, actually praying for something not to happen just focuses your mind on it - it doesn't tend..."
- "It's nonsense. He gives no sources and no astronomical reasoning at all. He makes it a matter of..."
- "Ive got a baby mr walker that i love with all my heart and this just petrifies me i keep getting..."
- "Sorry mr walker his name is spelt kinaeth madison he seems a very very big beliver in nibiru but..."
- The Math of Hunting and Fishing: When to Work Together
- Placebo: Bubbles Of Nothing Are Still Not Something
- People Who Take Drugs May Be Likelier to Commit Suicide
- Improved 'Screen Time' Guidelines Could Make Parents & Kids Happier
- Dr. Jamie Wells Named One Of America's Top Pediatricians
- Why Did EPA Delay Its Glyphosate Safety Report?