Drum Roll...And the Drunkest Town in Alaska Award Goes To.... - P.O.W. Report

Friday, September 21, 2018

Drum Roll...And the Drunkest Town in Alaska Award Goes To....

USA Today:

Though alcohol is enjoyed responsibly by millions of Americans every day, it is also misused and abused by many — and over consumption can have serious consequences. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.0% of American adults regularly consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol. In some American cities, excessive drinking rates are higher.

Excessive drinking, according to the CDC, includes binge drinking — which is defined as four or more drinks on a single occasion for women and five or more for men — and heavy drinking, or eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more for men.[...]

24/7 Wall Street reviewed the adult excessive drinking rate in 381 U.S. metro areas to identify the 20 drunkest (and 20 driest) cities. The cities with the highest excessive drinking rates are concentrated in the Midwest, while those with the lowest rates are mostly in southern states.

Before I get to the crème de la crème of Alaska's drunkest city--which really narrows down the list considering there are only 3 major 'cities' in Alaska--i'm going to tease the answer (as all responsible editors tend to do.) The most surprising thing is that nearly half of the 20 wettest cities are in Wisconsin! 9 of the cities made the list and the state made the Top 3.

3. Appleton, Wis.

Pct. adults drinking to excess: 26.2%
Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 25.7%
Est. number of restaurants and bars: 499 (213.2 per 100,000)
Median household income: $63,902
Alcohol is a luxury good, and higher income areas often have relatively high excessive drinking rates. The median household income in Appleton is $63,902 a year, more than 10% higher than the national median household income. Appleton, Wisconsin is one of only five metro areas nationwide where more than one in every four adults drink excessively.

In Appleton, there is no shortage of options when it comes to drinking venues. There are 213 restaurants and bars for every 100,000 metro area residents, compared to the 184 per 100,000 national concentration.

2. Eau Claire, Wis.

Pct. adults drinking to excess: 26.2%
Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 38.9%
Est. number of restaurants and bars: 387 (232.3 per 100,000)
Median household income: $51,058
Some 26.2% of adults in the Eau Claire metro area drink excessively, the second largest share among metro areas. It is easier to find a place to drink in Eau Claire, Wis., than in much of the rest of the country. There are 232 bars and restaurants for every 100,000 residents, compared to the 184 per 100,000 concentration nationwide.

Driving is dangerous and deadly accidents can be the result of any number of factors and circumstances. But in Eau Claire, alcohol is a common culprit. Alcohol was involved in 38.9% of deadly car accidents, one of the highest percentages of any metro area and significantly higher than the 30.0% national average.

1. Green Bay, Wis.

Pct. adults drinking to excess: 26.5%
Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 50.5%
Est. number of restaurants and bars: 652 (204.9 per 100,000)
Median household income: $58,011
The heaviest drinking metro area in the heaviest drinking state, Green Bay, Wis., has the highest excessive drinking rate of any U.S. metro area. Some 26.5% of adults in Green Bay drink excessively, making it the only metro area in Wisconsin with a higher excessive drinking rate than the statewide average of 26.2%. For comparison, 18.0% of American adults drink excessively.

A high excessive drinking rate does not necessarily increase the likelihood of alcohol-related car accidents. However, the Green Bay metro area is one of only five nationwide where alcohol was a factor in over half of all driving deaths.

Clearly the northern states are simply out of control! It's the cold weather and lack of sun that causes this, there are no other possible explanation.s

No really:

New data presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, suggests that colder and less sunny regions of the world have higher rates of alcoholic cirrhosis, a disease caused by excessive drinking which results in irreversible scarring of the liver. An international team of scientists analysing data from over 190 countries found that every increase in temperature of one degree Celsius was linked with a decrease in the alcohol-attributable fraction (AAF*) of cirrhosis of 0.3%. Heavy alcohol intake causes a perception of warmth, while fewer sunlight hours have been linked to depression which in turn, may lead to alcohol abuse. As a result, the researchers hypothesised that colder countries would have higher rates of alcohol consumption and therefore an increased burden of alcoholic cirrhosis. [...]

"Although association does not imply causality, these provocative data provide a strong argument in favour of the hypothesis that the amount of alcohol intake, and, as a result, the risk of alcohol-related cirrhosis, depends on latitude. It remains to be seen to what extent other factors, such as ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, may attenuate this association. This important study will certainly add to the current debate on what appropriate public policy measures are to be undertaken depending on climate to prevent alcohol-related cirrhosis," said Prof Francesco Negro, Divisions of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of Clinical Pathology, University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland, and EASL Governing Board Member.

Enough teasing.

The Drunkest City in Alaska

18. Fairbanks, Alaska

Pct. adults drinking to excess: 22.7%
Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 37.8%
Est. number of restaurants and bars: 164 (163.0 per 100,000)
Median household income: $77,328
Of Alaska’s two metro areas, Fairbanks and Anchorage, Fairbanks has the higher excessive drinking rate. Still, the excessive drinking rate in both Fairbanks, at 22.7%, and Anchorage, at 22.2%, far exceed the 19.1% rate across the state as a whole.

Excessive drinking is not the only unhealthy habit that is more common in Fairbanks than in Anchorage. Adults in Fairbanks are also less likely to exercise and more likely to smoke than residents in Alaska’s only other metro area.

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