It looks like rich, well-educated people don't give up their binge-drinking habits once they get their grown-up lives together (thank goodness — that's such a relief). A new study revealed that healthy, active, and sociable adults over the age of 50 are more likely to binge drink than their peers. Cool, right? Mom and Dad are irresponsible drinkers, too!
The study, called "Socioeconomic determinants of risk of harmful alcohol drinking among people aged 50 or over in England," was published in the journal BMJ, and sought to better understand the relationship between well-educated, wealthy individuals and alcohol. It's definitely a phenomenon worth looking at, since anyone who has ever been to a dinner party at the home of a wealthy baby boomer can attest to the fact that they throw down. It's like a frat party, but the cups are crystal, the booze is better (and probably not expired), and the dudes are more wrinkled.
Researchers conducted the study by analyzing data from the English Longitudinal Survey of Aging gathered 2010 between 2011, which contained information about 9,000 adults over the age of 50 who live independently. The survey participants provided information about how much they drink a week, what their income and education levels are, and whether or not they are married and healthy. These answers were then compared to British guidelines for how much individuals should drink (no more than 21 units of alcohol a week for men, and no more than 14 for women, with a unit being a shot or half a glass of wine), and it turns out that our parents — or at least, parents in Britain — are drinking more than twice as much as they're supposed to. Who knew they went so hard?
Seriously, check it out: Healthy, rich, active men at the age of 50 drink an average of 50 shots of hard liquor a week, while women average about 35. To break that down, that means men are drinking about seven shots a day, and women about five. That's definitely more alcohol than I drink usually, and I'm in my prime binge drinking years. How do they get anything done if they're always sloshed? Is this why old, wealthy people are so generous? I'm seriously imagining Richard and Emily Gilmore right now, getting turnt on martinis and writing an outrageously large check to some charity that they'll regret doing but be too polite to retract when they sober up.
This is a lot to think about, but I think the takeaway is clear: Next time you have your family over for dinner, you challenge your Aunt Miriam to a shot contest. She'll probably smoke you.