One way to increase your chances of being a heavy drinker? Live near a bar, at least according to a new study from researchers in Finland.
Appearing in the November issue of the journal Addiction, the study tracked nearly 55,000 Finnish adults over the course of seven years. Findings showed that subjects who moved closer to bars were more likely to increase their alcohol consumption.
In fact, living a kilometer closer to a bar bumped their chances of drinking too much by 17 percent. Of those who lived within .12 kilometers of a bar, nine percent were heavy drinkers. For those who were 2.4 kilometers further away, 7.5 percent were heavy drinkers.
In the study, "heavy drinking" applied to drinking more than 10 ounces (295ml) a week for men and about seven ounces (207ml) a week for women of distilled alcohol.
Researchers controlled for neighborhood and income level, and while the findings only show an association with drinking and bar proximity, not a causal link, they note that bar storefronts could, not surprisingly, serve as advertisements to encourage people to drink.