Thursday , February 25 2021

The climate in which you live can affect how much you drink, according to a new study



  • A new study found that people are more likely to drink more alcohol in countries with a colder climate and less hours of sunlight than in more sunny, warmer climates.

  • The study was the first of its kind and analyzed data from around the world.

  • Researchers are now calling for stricter restrictions on alcohol advertising during the winter.

  • However, other academics are skeptical about the findings of the study, arguing that further research has found the opposite situation in Europe.


When traveling somewhere exotic, it is not unusual to find yourself chilling with a refreshing cocktail or a crisp beer more often than someone at home.

With this reasoning, we would forgive you because you think the warmer weather would lead people to drink more alcohol – but according to a new study, this is not the case.

In fact, living in a cold climate with little daylight can make you drink more.

According to the study conducted by the Department of Gastroenterology at the University of Pittsburgh, there is a relationship between mean temperature, sunlight and alcohol consumption.

Findings show that colder climates "can play a causal role" for how many people drink.

Former author Ramon Bataller, deputy director of the Pittsburgh liver research center, said: "This is the first study that systematically shows that in the world and in the Americas, in cooler areas and less sunny areas, you have more alcohol and cirrhosis ".

Researchers analyzed data from 193 countries and found that as hours of temperature and sunlight decreased, alcohol consumption is rising.

They used data from the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, and other large data sets, and found a negative correlation between temperature and sunlight and alcohol consumption (measured as total alcohol intake per inhabitant, percentage of the drinking population and levels swallowing.)

The study also found a link between the climate and the incidence of alcoholic liver disease.


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Here's how alcohol cutting can affect your skin

Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means that it increases the flow of warm blood to the skin, increasing the feelings of warmth.

Higher alcohol consumption is also associated with depression, which tends to be more common during winter when there are fewer hours of natural light.

However, the lead author Meritxell Ventura-Cots, a PhD student at the Pittsburgh Liver Control Center, added that it is important to highlight "the many confounders."

"We tried to check for what we could. For example, we tried to control religion and how it affects the habits of alcohol. "

Other academics are skeptical about the findings of the study, arguing that further research has found that in Europe, countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Poland have the highest alcohol consumption rates and not cooler, Sweden and Finland .

"Basically, we found in Europe that this correlation found in another study worldwide does not play a role," Professor Jurgen Rehm of the Center for Dependence and Mental Health told the BBC.

However, Dr Peter McCann, a medical adviser at the Craig Castle Hospital (a Scottish hospital for the rehabilitation of drugs and alcoholic beverages) who contributed to the report, is now calling for stricter restrictions on alcohol advertising in the coldest months.

"We now have new evidence that the weather, and especially the temperature and amount of sunlight we are exposing, strongly influence how much alcohol we consume," he said.

"In addition, this time-related consumption of alcohol is directly linked to our chances of developing the most dangerous form of liver disease – cirrhosis – which eventually may end in hepatic failure and death.

"Stricter alcohol pricing laws are certainly warranted when considering the catastrophic combined effect of low sunlight and cheaper alcohol on consumption.

"Advertising laws should be handled with restrictions in the winter months that are under intensive scrutiny."

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