Bigger groups of friends down more drinks on a night out

On a night out on the town, bigger groups of friends tend to down more drinks than smaller ones.

For young people out on the town, having more friends come along in the group is tied to downing more drinks per hour, according to a new study.

That’s not entirely surprising, but this is the first time researchers have used smartphone-based assessments over the course of the evening to understand the drinking behaviour of young adults in real life situations, said lead author Johannes Thrul of the Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco.

For the new study, 183 young adults from universities in the French-speaking region of Switzerland were contacted by email and filled out Internet questionnaires.

For the next five weeks, on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays, they were sent six text messages between 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. the following day. The texts included a link for the students to complete questionnaires on their smartphones, including questions about how many drinks they had and how many friends were present.