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Is Facebook Making You Drink?

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It's confirmed: Scrolling through your Facebook feed makes you want to drink. And no, those endless baby photos and Trump statuses aren't really responsible (although they don't help!); it's the ads. Merely being exposed to alcohol advertisements on Facebook makes you more likely to booze it up, according to recent research published in the Journal of Interactive Advertising

In the study, participants were exposed to Facebook ads, with one group viewing ads for a brand of beer and the other a brand of bottled water. They were then asked questions about their feelings towards the beer ads and whether they made them want to have a drink. Afterwards, participants were offered a choice between two $10 gift cards to either to a bar or a coffee shop as a reward for their participation in the study. Sneaky researchers! (FYI, here's the science behind your Facebook addiction.)

The researchers found that those assigned to view the beer ads had a greater probability of choosing the gift card for the bar than the coffee shop compared to those assigned to those who saw the water ads, who had an equal probability of selecting either type of gift card. Interestingly, the results held true both for those who exhibited greater "risky alcohol use" and those who exhibited low to moderate risky alcohol use (based on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, AKA AUDIT, a 10-item screening tool developed by the World Health Organization to assess drinking behaviors and alcohol-related problems).

The study shows that mere exposure to alcohol—whether through ads or friends posts—on social media can influence people's desire to consume alcohol by priming them to think about it, said lead study author Saleem Alhabash, Ph.D., in the press release.

If you were looking for another excuse to ditch Facebook for good, here you have it...no word yet on all those rosé all day Instagram posts, though! (Psst... What Determines Your Drunk Identity?)

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