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Mapping America’s Worst States For Binge-Drinking This Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, Americans across the U.S. are preparing to celebrate.

In many cases, the merrymaking involves a plethora of alcoholic beverages.

Whether it’s eggnog, mulled wine, Christmas lagers, or regular, less-than-seasonal booze, alcohol is often a staple of festivities, and Christmas is no exception.

For some, alcohol is what makes the stressful holiday bearable. For others, it’s what makes the bearable holiday stressful.

A new chart by Statista ranks the worst U.S. states for binge drinking, according to data from America’s Health Ranking Annual Report.

According to the United Health Foundation, binge drinking is defined as having numerous drinks in one sitting. For men, that means five or more drinks on one occasion and for women, it’s four or more.

Zero Hedge reports:

Binging is defined as having four or more (for women) or five or more (for men) drinks on one occasion in the past 30 days. Chronic drinking is having eight or more (for women) or 15 or more (for men) drinks per week. The U.S. has an annual average of 87,798 alcohol attributable deaths while 12,460 road deaths were due to alcohol consumption between 2006 and 2010.

An estimated 2.5 million years of U.S. life have been lost due to alcohol abuse between 2006 and 2010. As well as its massive impact on human health, alcohol also has huge financial and economic repercussions. Excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010 or $2.05 for each beverage consumed.

The lowest rates of excessive drinking in U.S. states were recorded in West Virginia (11.8 percent), Oklahoma (12.8 percent) and Utah (13.4 percent).

This chart could explain where the “Christmas spirit” is on the rocks.

Wisconsin tops the top list, but both it and North Dakota see roughly 26% of adults reporting either chronic or binge drinking.

Minnesota comes in at third with nearly 23%.

Several Midwestern states made the list. Interestingly, non-Midwestern states ranked 6th-9th, while Midwestern states ranked 1-5.

Pennsylvania marks the bottom of the top ten list at 10.5%.

While a glass of eggnog might be just enough for some, it seems many Americans need two or twelve more rounds to really get things going on the holidays.

“The lowest rates of excessive drinking in U.S. states,” Statista reports, “were recorded in West Virginia (11.8 percent), Oklahoma (12.8 percent) and Utah (13.4 percent).”

While it may sound easy enough to limit your drinks at Christmas parties, avoiding top-ups would make it easier to keep track. And if you have excessive drinkers in your family, maybe that traditional fruit cake or some other treat is a better choice as a party gift than a bottle of scotch.

If you live in one of the top ten states listed in the chart above, perhaps you’re used to somewhat rowdier get-togethers. If your state didn’t make the list, don’t worry yourself over trying to catch up to the pack leaders. This isn’t a contest you necessarily want to win.

It’s fine to enjoy and spread your holiday cheer. Just make sure you’re not spoiling someone else’s Christmas by making yours a little too merry.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Source: The Federalist Papers

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