This is the post that WP didn’t schedule for Thursday.


Well, I never did. This is another one of those bits research that really didn’t need doing. You know how I love those.

Researchers (always a suspicious notion) from Public Health England, one of the plethora of health-related quangos in the UK, and King’s College London, who must have burned up a research grant on this, lifted some data from the Global Drug Survey, an online questionnaire aimed at 18 to 34 year olds. The data they lifted appertained to the emotional effects of different alcoholic drinks.

There’s a bit of an issue with them methodology here, since the New Puritans are drinking less than their older adults, so extrapolation to the general population may be a bit of a problem. Let’s assume the generalities proposed are true. Buckle up.

A couple of glasses of wine make 25% of consumers feel sexy. Sadly, most wine drinkers just feel sleepy. That’s a bit self defeating. Mind you, under 20% of beer drinkers reported feeling sexier. This immediately made me ponder what happens if you have a couple of beers and a glass of wine. Sadly, this wasn’t reported. On the upside, sticking a couple of shorts down your neck can make you feel sexier, at least if you’re in the 40% who report this phenomenon.

Now we come to the glaring statement of the bleeding obvious. The ability of gin to provoke tearfulness is the stuff of legend, isn’t it? No need to check that, really. But they did. However, there’s an anomaly. All spirits have a tendency to make you feel maudlin, apparently, but this is much more rarely the case with beer.

I take issue with that. If you talk to any male beer drinker, and adopt an exaggerated drunken voice, all you have to say is, ‘You’re my besh mate. I really love you,’ and he’ll know exactly what it is you’re on about. Beer drinkers are notorious for this. It’s not an engaging trait, but it’s a real one.

Women are more likely to associate feelings such as confidence, feeling relaxed, energised with having a grog or two, hence the shrieking associated with a group of women bashing the Prosecco. They also report a link to negative feelings more than men do, with the exception of feeling aggressive. Hmm. Jury’s out on that, too.

Conclusions*? ‘Understanding emotions associated with alcohol is imperative in addressing alcohol misuse, providing insight into what emotions influence drink choice between different groups in the population.’ It’s a bit of a circular argument, that, isn’t it, a bit like those pictures of snakes eating their own tails? I rather doubt it anyway. Most people who drink alcohol will drink just about anything, even while grumbling about the lack of availability of the grog of their choice**.

By the way, Mark Bellis of Public Health Wales (another quango) says, quite rightly, that it’s hard to disentangle the effects of different drinks from the situations in which they’re drunk (The Prosecco Effect mentioned above.) Two quangos, two opposing views.

*I rather doubt the conclusions in the editorial in Wednesday’s i, which claimed that Scotland’s new policy on minimum pricing will ‘reduce alcohol-related deaths by 120 percent a year.’ I don’t need to go into that, do I?

**Except I won’t drink gin.