One of the things which often strikes visitors from the U.K. about Spain and Italy is the lack of young people staggering around being drunken idiots and throwing up in the gutter. This has often been put down to the fact that young people in Mediterranean countries are introduced to alcohol in a family setting and usually over a meal. Researchers from Boston University School of Public Health have backed up this theory in a study of 160 Italian adolescents and young adults. The participants came from the Italian regions of Abruzzo and Umbria; half were between 25 and 30 and half were 16-18. Those participants who were allowed alcohol with their meals when they were growing up were more likely never to drink five or more drinks or to get drunk.
You can find out more about this research by clicking on the title of this post.