Study links IQ to drinking habits

A person's IQ score may seem like a mere indicator of intelligence, but the number may have more bearing. From helping individuals learn their strengths to offering insight into behavioral choices, IQ is a powerful tool. In fact, according to a study published in the journal Alcoholism & Experimental Research, people who have a low IQ score are more likely to binge drink as adults than people with a high IQ. 

Researching men
The study included data on 49,321 Swedish males who joined the military between 1969 and 1970. Researchers had each individual take IQ tests and complete questionnaires regarding their behavior. The results indicated that the lower the person's IQ, the more likely he was to binge drink. The study noted that low IQ may lead to disadvantages, such as risky behavior, and drinking does not necessarily decrease IQ.

"Suggested explanations for the association between IQ and different health outcomes, could be childhood conditions, which could influence both IQ and health, or that a socio-economic position as an adult mediates the association," Sara Sjolund, a researcher on the study, told the Daily Mail.

Additionally, researchers warn that the results should not be applied to women – further studies must be done to learn whether IQ and alcohol consumption have a similar relationship in women.

Adolescent behavior
The study indicated that adolescents also share the association between IQ and drinking. What's more, teens tend to display risky behavior whether or not they have low IQ scores. Additionally, young adults may not understand how much alcohol equates to one drink, and lack of knowledge could lead to excess consumption (outside of habitual drinking linked to intelligence).

Understanding how alcohol works in the body and what amount is equal to one drink can benefit anyone who consumes the beverage. Those who are prone to risky behavior especially need to know this information. For instance, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 5 ounces of red wine, 8 to 9 ounces of malt liquor and 12 ounces of beer all equate to one drink – one drink is the amount of alcohol your body can metabolize in one hour.

It's also important to note that if your child has a lower IQ, he or she may not necessarily become a binge drinker. Researchers said that environment, socioeconomic status and childhood could all play a role in influencing how much an individual drinks later in life.

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