Science has finally worked out why British people drink so much
If youve ever wondered why we Brits are so famed for drinking too much – a new study might just have found the answer.
According to data studied from 193 countries, those who live in cooler places with fewer daylight hours are much more likely to consume alcohol than those in sunnier and warmer climates.
Its something that everyone has assumed for decades, said lead author Ramon Bataller, associate director of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Centre.
Why do people in Russia drink so much? Why in Wisconsin? Everybody assumes thats because its cold.
But we could not find a single paper linking climate to alcoholic intake or alcoholic cirrhosis.
This is the first study that systematically demonstrates that worldwide and in America, in colder areas and areas with less sun, you have more drinking and more alcoholic cirrhosis.
Researchers using data from the World Health Organisation and the World Meteorological Organisation also found evidence that climate contributed to the amount of alcoholic liver disease.
Although the reasons why a lack of sunshine causes people to seek alcohol are not explicitly clear.
One reason could be that drinking increases the blood flow to the skin, making the consumer feel warm.
But on the other hand, heavy alcohol consumption can also be linked to mental health problems, such as depression, which also tends to worsen in areas without many daylight hours.
The trend discovered by the scientists held up when comparing countries across the world, with some now stating that public initiatives should be launched in some of the colder, darker and worst affected areas.
Dr Peter McCann, medical adviser to Castle Craig Hospital, a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic in the Scottish Borders, contributed to the report.
He said: We now have new evidence that the weather, and in particular the temperature and amount of sunlight that we are exposed to, has a strong influence on how much alcohol we consume.
Furthermore this weather-related alcohol consumption is directly linked to our chances of developing the most dangerous form of liver disease – cirrhosis – which can ultimately end in liver failure and death.
He then continued: Stricter laws on alcohol pricing are surely justified when we consider the devastating combined effect of low sunlight and cheaper alcohol on consumption.
Advertising laws should be addressed with restrictions during winter months strongly considered.