Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Loud music + beer = heavier drinking

Going for a night out? Enjoy the bar scene? Like to dance? We all know to be careful and watch our drinks, that’s become a fact of life now when you’re out clubbing - and we know not to drink alcohol and drive - but did you know that the louder the music is, the higher the risk that you’ll drink more than you plan on?

We’ve all been in a place at one time or another where the music is just too loud. You can’t do much but dance or drink - and there’s only so much you can dance. So, unless you plan on text messaging each other all evening, the only alternative is to drink. Who wants to shout to have a conversation?

Now, this is something we all know already - so what do researchers do? They spend time and money researching it. After all, if it’s not researched, it can’t be true, right?

According to a study published in the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers changed the volume of music in a bar from the typical 72 decibels to loud at 88 decibels and then watched patrons as they drank beer while the music was average and then again when it was louder. Granted, they only watched men, so we can’t assume the same is true for women, but the researchers did find that the men drank more beer and each beer was consumed faster with the louder music than with the average level music.

All joking aside, this is interesting because there is a problem with drinking, particularly among younger males and if music plays a role in this, perhaps if women are having parties or get-togethers, they can be more aware of this connection. As for the women themselves being affected - while it might not be scientific, if the reasons for drinking more and faster are because you can’t really do anything else, it is quite possible that the outcome is the same.

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