Larger wine glasses encourage more drinks

(Australian Associated Press)

Larger wine glasses lead people to drink more, new research suggests.

This happened even when the amount of wine in the glass was not increased from that served in smaller glasses.

“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 us to drink faster and order more,” said Dr Rachel Pechey from the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge.

“But it’s interesting that we didn’t see the opposite effect when we switched to smaller wine glasses.”

The study, covering a 16-week period, involved the owners of a bar changing the size of the wine glasses at fortnightly intervals, alternating between the standard (300ml) size, and larger (370ml) and smaller (250 ml) glasses.

Increasing the size of the glasses led to an almost 10 per cent increase in wine sales.

The findings suggested that avoiding the use of larger wine glasses could reduce the amount that people drink.

“We need more research to confirm this effect, but if it is the case, then we will need to think how this might be implemented,” said BHRU director Professor Theresa Marteau.

“For example, could it be an alcohol licensing requirements that all wine glasses have to be below a certain size?”.

The study was published in the journal BMC Public Health.


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