Most Americans keep drinking beer, wine and liquor despite believing it hurts drinkers and society, Gallup reported Friday.
A new poll found that 71% of U.S. adults believe alcoholic beverages have a negative effect on drinkers, 75% think they harm society, and 67% down them anyway.
Due to this, the poll suggested Americans are moderate in their drinking habits.
“On the whole, those who are drinking report doing so moderately, averaging about four drinks per week,” Gallup noted in summary.
Among those who believe in the negative effects of alcohol on society and drinkers, the poll found drinkers most likely to say alcohol is “somewhat” harmful. Nondrinkers were most likely to call it “very” harmful.
Drinkers are “more closely divided in their preferences than ever before,” the company added. The poll found that 35% of drinkers consume beer most often, while 31% prefer wine and 30% favor liquor.
These numbers represent a new high for liquor and a new low for beer in the company’s polling.
Since Gallup started asking the question in 1939, most Americans have said they drink alcohol. That share reached a low of 55% in 1958 and a high of 71% in the late 1970s.
Gallup conducted the randomized national telephone survey of 1,013 adults on July 5-26, reporting a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level for both drinkers and nondrinkers.
• Sean Salai can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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