Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pulling More Pints


"In contrast to European countries like France or Italy, where alcohol consumption has decreased, the per capita drinking rates in England and Wales have increased by 50 percent since the 1970s. Not only do the British drink more; they're drinking at a younger age and consume more at one sitting- they've become, all too often, binge drinkers. And nobody quite knows how to explain it."

I just heard a novel explanation from a social scientist and former Brit. The culture of "buying rounds" in England is much stronger than in the U.S., so when you go into a bar with a group of people, you are practically guaranteed to drink a beer for each person in the group.

According to his idea, in the U.S., we don't really buy rounds all that often, and if we do, we're content to let our friends return the gesture on our next trip out. In England, social norms are that everyone must buy a round on that visit, resulting in "binge drinking" if you're with a large group.

Anyhow, I don't really know that much about it, but I thought it's interesting all the same.


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