Gen Wine: Echo Boomers Drink More Than Any Generation In History

Amy Schaeffer - Author
By

Jan. 1 2015, Updated 12:30 p.m. ET

Generation Y doesn’t need an occasion or excuse to pop a cork. They drink more than anyone in history — and, by far, their choice is wine.

Generation Y is generally considered individuals born between 1980 and 2000. The generation that watched their parents and grandparents drink beer and whiskey is turning to a more “socially acceptable” alternative, one even touted as healthy in moderate quantities — wine. And they aren’t picky about it, either. Although red wine sales are higher than any other, a survey of Generation Y showed that 25 percent don’t care what kind of wine they drink — they will drink anything.

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Twenty-eight percent between the ages of 21 to 26 report drinking wine daily, and 83 percent of those say they choose wine because of its taste. This has driven wine sales up dramatically. Who among Generation Y are more likely to indulge? Fifty percent of them wind up drinking themselves into a hangover for work, and waiters, realtors, retail employees, police officers, and chefs are the greatest offenders of the working hangover, according to the numbers by medicaldaily.

This does have a significant impact on the socioeconomic and health status of the U.S. While it’s true that moderate red wine consumption has been shown to decrease heart disease, it also has been shown to increase certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. Increased alcohol consumption also contributes to early dementia, social problems, traumatic accidents of all kinds, crime, and fetal alcohol syndrome. The question is: does this generation actually see wine as the potentially deadly drug that it can be?

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According to Livestrong, one of the most detrimental effects of too much wine is weight gain. High in calories and sugar carbohydrates, daily wine consumption can quickly pack on the pounds. Another problem is that drinking lowers inhibitions, so people may make food choices that they otherwise may not make if not under the influence of wine. With more and more young people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, alcohol in general is a nutritional concern, which turns into sugar molecules once ingested. Many people don’t consider calories that are not eaten but rather drank, and one glass of wine can have as many calories and carbs as a glass of regular soda.

Wine is cultural; an age-old symbol of wealth, sign of good times, a complement to food, a de-stresser at the end of a long day. But it’s important to remember that it is alcohol, the same as beer, whiskey, or vodka. The taste may be different, but the effect on the liver, brain, pancreas, and cognition are the same.

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