International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 107–117 | Cite as

Times to drink: cross-cultural variations in drinking in the rhythm of the week

  • Robin Room
  • Pia Mäkelä
  • Vivek Benegal
  • Thomas K. Greenfield
  • Siri Hettige
  • Nazarius M. Tumwesigye
  • Richard Wilsnack
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

The time of drinking in terms of daytime versus evening and weekday versus weekend is charted for regular drinkers in 14 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Oceania.

Methods

National or regional adult population surveys from the GENACIS project.

Results

The weekly rhythm of drinking varies greatly between societies. Drinking was generally more likely after 5 p.m. and on weekends. To this extent, alcohol consumption is now regulated by a universal clock. The relation of time of day and of the week of drinking to problems from drinking varied between societies. Drinking at specific times was more likely to predict problems among men than women, though for men the particular time varied, while weekday evenings were the most problematic time for women. The relation of drinking at a particular time to problems in part reflected that heavy drinkers were more likely to be drinking at that time.

Conclusions

There are commonalities across cultures in drinking by time of day and day of the week, but the implications of the timing for alcohol-related problems are fairly culture-specific.

Keywords

Cross-cultural Alcohol consumption Drinking times Temporal rhythm Alcohol problems Gender Time of day Weekend 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The data used in this paper are from the project, Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS). GENACIS is a collaborative international project affiliated with the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol and coordinated by GENACIS partners from the University of North Dakota, Aarhus University, the Alcohol Research Group/Public Health Institute, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre, and Addiction Info Switzerland Research Institute. Support for aspects of the project comes from the World Health Organization, the Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources Programme of the European Commission (Concerted Action QLG4-CT-2001-0196), the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Grants R21 AA012941 and R01 AA015775), the German Federal Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, and Swiss national funds. Support for individual country surveys was provided by government agencies and other national sources. The study leaders and funding sources for data sets used in this report are: Brazil: Florence Kerr-Correa, Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paolo; Costa Rica: Julio Bejerano, World Health Organization (WHO); Hungary: Zsuzsanna Elekes, Ministry of Youth and Sport; India: Vivek Benegal, WHO; Isle of Man: Martin and Moira Plant, Isle of Man Medical Research and University of the West of England; Japan: Shiunji Shimuzu, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; Kazakhstan: Bedel Sarbayev, WHO; New Zealand: Jennie Connor, Otago University Research Grant; Nicaragua: José Trinidad Caldera Aburto, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Nigeria: Akanidomo Ibanga, WHO; Peru: Marina Piazza, PAHO; Sri Lanka: Siri Hettige, WHO; Uganda: M. Nazarius Tumwesigye, WHO; UK: Martin Plant, Moira Plant (Alcohol Education and Research Council; European Forum for Responsible Drinking; University of the West of England).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Room
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pia Mäkelä
    • 4
  • Vivek Benegal
    • 5
  • Thomas K. Greenfield
    • 6
  • Siri Hettige
    • 7
  • Nazarius M. Tumwesigye
    • 8
  • Richard Wilsnack
    • 9
  1. 1.School of Population HealthUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug CentreFitzroyAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and DrugsStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  4. 4.National Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.National Institute of Mental Health and NeurosciencesBangaloreIndia
  6. 6.Alcohol Research GroupPublic Health InstituteEmeryvilleUSA
  7. 7.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of ColomboColomboSri Lanka
  8. 8.School of Public HealthMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  9. 9.Department of Clinical NeuroscienceUniversity of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health SciencesGrand ForksUSA

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