Exploring mechanisms of alcohol consumption from different glass sizes | The Behaviour and Health Research Unit

Exploring mechanisms of alcohol consumption from different glass sizes

Our study suggests that wine sales increase by almost 10% if wine is served in a larger glass. In our new experimental study, published 12th June 2017 in BMC Psychology examined if micro-drinking behaviours (drinking rate, sip duration, and/or number of sips) underlie mechanisms for increased alcohol consumption from a larger glass.

We randomly assigned 166 young women to drink 175 ml of wine served in either a smaller (250 ml) or larger (370 ml) wine glass. We measured how quickly they drank using video-recordings, their satisfaction with the amount of wine served and how pleasurable they found drinking it to be.

We found no support for the hypothesised mechanisms by which serving wine in larger wine glasses increases consumption. However, drinking rate and a pleasurable drinking experience were associated with the desire to drink further. While micro-drinking behaviours may still prove to drive consumption depending on glass size, cross-validation of these results in a more naturalistic setting is needed.

Micro-drinking behaviours and consumption of wine in different wine glass sizes: a laboratory study. Zupan Z, Pechey R, Couturier DL, Hollands GJ, and Marteau TM. Access full text.

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