America's deepening drinking habit
Americans responded to the stress of the pandemic by drinking more — a lot more for some — and there's a risk that those habits could stick.
Why it matters: Excessive drinking is connected to a variety of health and social ills, but the growing ubiquity of alcohol in daily life can make cutting back harder than ever.
By the numbers: Americans started drinking more as soon as the pandemic began in full last year — data from Nielsen showed a 54% increase in national alcohol sales year-on-year in the week ending on March 21, 2020. And as the pandemic wore on, so did Americans' drinking.
A survey from late 2020 found 75% of Americans increased their alcohol intake during the pandemic to include at least one more day per month, while women, in particular, increased their alcohol intake by 39% compared to 2019.
Another survey conducted by the American Psychological Association this year found nearly one in four Americans reported drinking more specifically to combat pandemic-related stress, and a separate study found women had a greater increase in excessive drinking than men, to the point that their intake levels were almost equal.