Use smaller wine goblets to reduce drinking

Washington D.C : The size of your wine glass will now determine how much you will drink as a new study has found that wine served in large goblets make the people drink more. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have found that selling wine in larger wine glasses might encourage the people to drink more even when the amount of wine remains the same.

To examine whether the size of glass in which alcohol is served affects consumption, the researchers together with Professor Marcus Munafo from the University of Bristol carried out a study in The Pint Shop in Cambridge from mid-March to early July 2015.

The establishment has separate bar and restaurant areas, both selling food and drink. Wine (in 125ml or 175ml servings) could be purchased by the glass, which was usually a standard 300ml size.

Over the course of a 16-week period, the owners of the establishment changed the size of the wine glasses at fortnightly intervals, alternating between the standard (300ml) size, and larger (370ml) and smaller (250 ml) glasses.

The researchers found that the volume of wine purchased daily was 9.4 percent higher when sold in larger glasses compared to standard-sized glasses. This effect was mainly driven by sales in the bar area, which witnessed an increase in sales of 14.4 percent, compared to an 8.2 percent increase in sales in the restaurant. The findings were inconclusive as to whether sales were different with smaller compared to standard-sized glasses.

Dr. Rachel Pechey from the BHRU at Cambridge said they found that increasing the size of wine glasses, even without increasing the amount of wine, leads the people to drink more. He added it’s not obvious why this should be the case, but one reason may be that larger glasses change our perceptions of the amount of wine, leading one to drink faster and order more. The study is published in BMC Public Health journal.

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