Is Cold and Dark Weather a Trigger for Heavy Drinking?

There is a commonly held belief that winter conditions — that are characterized by extreme cold and low sunlight — are connected to heavy drinking. Whenever we think of countries in Northern Europe we instantly think of sub-zero temperatures, dark clouds and polar landscapes. We also imagine its inhabitants tucked in a bar drinking their sorrows away. What creates this image is the perception that strong spirits and binge drinking are a staple of many Northern countries. However, scientific and factual evidence shows a more nuanced picture. Statistical Verdict The argument that countries with a colder climate experience a larger intake of alcohol is not by any means clear. A study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, suggests that this is not necessarily the case.1 While the top four places are occupied by Belarus, Russia, Moldova and Ukraine, we also find the very warm Southern European countries of Andorra and Portugal occupying the number seven and ten spots respectively, ahead of Germany and all Scandinavian countries. In fact, other top ten entrants such as the Czech Republic and Romania experience quite temperate climates. The cold weather argument fails to explain why Uganda, South Africa and Brazil have some of the highest alcohol intakes in the world, also surpassing that of any Scandinavian country. Research also suggests that alcohol consumption is no longer culturally predetermined, as drinking patterns seem to converge, throughout ...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Addictions Substance Abuse alcohol use Alcoholism heavy drinking Holiday Blues Holiday Season Public Health Winter Source Type: news

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Source: Journal of Materials Research and Technology - Category: Materials Science Source Type: research
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