(The Hill) — A record-high percentage of Americans say drinking in moderation is bad for one’s health, according to a new poll.
The Gallup poll, released on Thursday, revealed 39% of respondents said “moderate drinking,” which it defines as one or two drinks a day, is bad for one’s health — an increase of 11 points since the survey was last conducted in 2018.
The sharp rise also marks a departure from the stagnant levels seen since the survey was first conducted. In 2001, 27% of respondents said moderate drinking was bad for your health. While that level dipped to 22% in 2005, it has hovered at about 25%-28% in the years since.
Fewer Americans say moderate drinking is good for your health, at 10% in 2023, compared to 16% in 2018. Half of the respondents in the new poll say moderate drinking makes no difference to one’s health, a 5-point drop from 55% in 2018.
The rise is attributed largely to young adults, aged 18-34, who say moderate drinking is bad, at 52% in 2023, an 18-point drop from the 34% who answered similarly in 2018.
Among middle-aged adults 35-54 years old, 39% say moderate drinking is bad, a 13-point increase from the 26% in 2018. Among older adults there is “virtually no change,” according to Gallup, with 29% saying it’s bad in 2023, compared to 26% in 2018.
The same survey showed most Americans viewed alcohol as less harmful than tobacco and more harmful than marijuana. In the survey, 76% say cigarettes are “very harmful”; 54% say e-cigarettes, or “vaping” is “very harmful”; 39% say chewing tobacco is “very harmful”; 30% say alcohol is “very harmful” and 23% say marijuana is “very harmful.”
The survey included 1,015 adults living in the U.S. and was conducted by telephone interview from July 3-27. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.