Reporter 461, 12 February 2001

Eat, drink and be ill - it's a full moon

Itís a mystery Ė but doctorsí surgeries get busy six days after a full moon, research at the University has discovered.

The research team studied the effects of 12 full moons on 60 practices and discovered that six days after the full moon, consultations rose on average by 3.6 per cent Ė the equivalent of 30,000 visits nationally.

Dr Richard Neal, of the centre for research in primary care at the University, said it was impossible to speculate as to the causes of such behaviour.

"We know other things happen, too, like an increase in suicide rates, but again we donít know why," he added.

Diet is also subject to a lunar effect, according to research in Italy, with an eight per cent increase reported in average meal sizes and a 25 per cent hike in drinking rates.

Other observations include a notable surge in telephone calls whenever a full moon occurs. Researchers at BT spotted the phenomenon after studying the fluctuation of calls over four-week cycles

this story was featured in, among others, the Independent:

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