Can BBQ Make You Binge Drink? It’s More Common Than You Think

barbecue and booze
 Getty Images

Before cracking open another beer at the next backyard bash, some sobering news: Those ribs could cause you to binge drink. Animal research from Penn State College of Medicine found greasy food can trigger a feedback circuit in the brain, compelling you to chow down even more. Coincidentally, it’s the same brain region that controls binge drinking. So gorging on fatty foods may flip the switch on our desire for alcohol, says neuroscientist and study co-author Yuval Silberman.

Perhaps obviously, the amount of greasy grub makes a difference. Have sensible servings of hot dogs, chips, etc., and you won’t feel compelled to drink heavily. “We think it’s the eating behavior, and not the food itself, that may predispose to binge-drinking,” Silberman says. To avoid getting tanked, switch between alcohol and water, and pace yourself on the charred meat. Though have a field day on crudités.