A larger glass of wine — not the amount in the glass, but the size of the glassware itself — might make you drink more.
In a new study, researchers found there was a 9.4 percent increase in wine sales (and presumably, wine consumption) when a bar switched to using larger wine glasses.
There was no difference in sales when the wine glasses were standard-size compared with when they were smaller, the researchers noted in their study, published on Monday (June 6) in the journal BMC Public Health.
In the study, researchers tracked purchases in a bar-restaurant over the course of 16 weeks, during which different sizes of wine glasses were used. Patrons were typically served about 5.9 ounces (175 milliliters) of wine, but the glasses were one of three different sizes: small (8.4 oz., or 250 mL), standard (10.1 oz., or 300 mL) or large (12.5 oz., or 370 mL). [7 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health]
It isn't clear why people would drink more when glasses are larger, but the authors offered a possible explanation. "One reason may be that larger glasses change our perceptions of the amount of wine, leading us to drink faster and order more," Rachel Pechey, a public health research associate at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and the lead author of the study, said in a statement. "But it's interesting that we didn't see the opposite effect when we switched to smaller wine glasses."
The results are in line with a review of similar studies by the same group of researchers that found that the size of plates and utensils can affect how much people eat. Other research has demonstrated that the taste of food can be related to nonfood factors, such as the color of a plate.
The authors noted in the new study that more research is needed to confirm the effect of the larger wine glasses, and reveal ways to take advantage of this effect in public health efforts. For example, limits on the size of the wine glasses that are used in bars might discourage excessive drinking, the researchers said.
Original article on Live Science.
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