New Study Says Cold-Weather Dwellers Drink More Booze

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A new study proved something everyone pretty much already knows: where you live heavily impacts the amount you drink. People who live in regions that have colder average temperatures are more likely to drink more. This shouldn’t be surprising news to anyone who lives in the Northeast or anyone who’s been to Alaska or Iceland in the middle of winter. When you’re driving home from work and it’s already dark out (or the sun barely rises for months) you’re more likely to want a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine instead of staring into the dark, bleak, cold eyes of old man winter.

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The study, based on research from the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology and published in The Journal of Hepatology, determined that when temperatures dip and sunlight diminishes, people are much more likely to hit the bottle.

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“It’s something that everyone has assumed for decades, but no one has scientifically demonstrated it. Why do people in Russia drink so much? Why in Wisconsin? Everybody assumes that’s because it’s cold,” senior author Ramon Bataller, M.D., Ph.D., chief of hepatology at UPMC, professor of medicine at Pitt, and associate director of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center said in a press release. “But we couldn’t find a single paper linking climate to alcohol 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.”

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The data for the study came from the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, and other data. Through the information, the group found a correlation between lack of sunlight, low-temperatures, and a rise in alcohol consumption. It’s not just in the U.S., either; the numbers were similar throughout the world. The only question we have is: what time is happy hour?