Cross-National Comparisons in Alcohol Consumption amongst Adults

In response to a short assignment on the process of modeling social phenomena, one of my students (thanks, EE!) has chosen to try to understand why the residents of some countries consume (on average) more alcohol per capita than the residents of other countries. She argued that it may have something to do with the cultural acceptance of drinking alcohol as children. That’s seems to be a plausible hypothesis. You can find data on annual drinking rates from the EarthTrends website (which I’ve used on many previous occasions; it’s a fantastic resource!). Here is a link to 2003 data (the most recent year for which they have data) and here is a table, which I have created from the data. What do you think accounts for the difference in consumption across these countries?