Americans may disagree on politics and religion, but many of them are in step when it comes to booze.
As in, they like it.
And that embrace of alcohol is on obvious display leading in to the New Year.
“Most Americans are very comfortable with drinking alcohol,” Barna said in a recent survey titled “The Buzz About Alcohol: America’s Views on Booze.”
Two-thirds of U.S. adults 21 and older are at least occasional drinkers, the research ministry said in its report published online.
The study breaks down alcohol use by generations and religion.
Millennials definitely like to hit the sauce.
“While Elders are more likely than Millennials to affirm that they drink alcohol, Millennials who drink actually consume more than other generations,” according to the research.
Millennials report having an average of three drinks a week, compared to the average adult who consumes two per week. And a lot of Americans admit they sometimes imbibe a little too often.
“Though most Americans are comfortable with drinking, three in 10 admit they sometimes drink more than they should,” Barna reported. Millennials and Gen Xers said they overdo it at larger rates than Boomer and Elders.
For those who tend not to over-indulge, religion is often the reason. In some cases, the relationship is overt.
“Some Christian groups, particularly evangelicals and Methodists, encourage abstinence as a precaution against drunkenness, and other faiths like Mormonism and Islam outright prohibit it,” Barna noted.
The survey found that 46 percent of evangelicals and 60 percent of practicing Christians — those who say their faith identity is important and attend services once or more per month — and 41 percent of those from other faiths are less likely to consume alcohol. And those who do, Barna said, drink fewer drinks a week than the average American adult.
The report also found that many Americans harbor ambivalent attitudes toward alcohol consumption. Seeing the negative impact booze has on friends and family members are of concern to many. Others say they do not like the taste or worry about health effects.
However, most American said drinking in moderation is either healthy or has no negative impacts.
In this “season of booze,” Barna added, it’s wise to remember that values can vary starkly among individuals and groups.
“Acceptable standards for drinking and definitions of its excesses — particularly in religious circles — can be highly debatable, and at times deeply personal.”