The sun’s out, it’s Friday and what do we want to do? Head straight to a beer garden of course. Well good news lager lovers and prosecco pros – drinking alcohol does make you happier. Yipee! The rush of good feelings is only short term though, so don’t get too carried away just yet.
Researchers from Britain’s University of Kent and University of Sussex focused on how people’s happiness and drinking change over time, publishing findings in Social Science and Medicine.
The team used two experiments to get their results; the first involved a test group of 30 to 42-year-olds, and using traditional survey methods they looked at how often the participants drank and changes in mood. For this group, no relationship was found between drinking and long-term happiness, however it was discovered that when someone was suffering from an alcohol problem there was a negative impact.
The second study yielded completely different results, and relied on an iPhone app to collate findings. This test group attracted a younger age group, and it was concluded that there was a “strong and consistent” relationship between happiness levels and drinking. But these good feelings only happen in the moment, and are not long lasting.
Study authors Dr Ben Baumberg Geiger and Dr George MacKerron hope their work will influence how governments review the cost-benefit analyses of alcohol regulation.
The findings come hot on the heels of the latest prosecco news. It was widely reported that because of the increased popularity in the Italian sparkling wine and a rain-affected growing season in 2014, there may be a shortage of the fizz. However after a bumper harvest of grapes used to make the trendy tipple, it’s expected that production will be up 50 per cent.