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Curved Glasses May Slow Down Drinking

water in a curved glassAlcohol drinkers who want to drink more slowly – and possibly less – may want to look to their glass, suggests a new study from the United Kingdom published last week in PLoS ONE.

The study focused on glass shape, having approximately 160 participants drink from either a curved or straight glass. Previous research has found that glass shape can play with our sense of perception, making us think we are drinking more in a taller glass than squatter glass, for example.

In this study participants were randomly given a soft drink or lager, a type of beer, from either a curved or straight glass. Whatever they were drinking, half were served a full 12-ounce glass and the rest a half-full glass.

During the session, those who were drinking lager from a full curved-glass drank about 60 percent slower than those who had a straight glass. There was no difference in drinking rate when the drink was non-alcoholic

Another test found that participants have trouble gauging the halfway point of shaped glasses. This test showed the same participants images of the two glass shapes containing varying volumes of liquid and asked the viewers to judge when the glasses were more or less half full.

The findings suggest that drinking behavior is in part based on the perception of how much we have already consumed. The effect in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinking behavior may be because more people think of pacing themselves when drinking an alcoholic beverage.

Alcohol is linked to increased risk for cancers of the colorectum, breast, esophagus, mouth and pharynx.


Source: Angela S. Attwood, Nicholas E. Scott-Samuel, George Stothart, Marcus R. Munaf. Glass Shape Influences Consumption Rate for Alcoholic Beverages. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e43007.

Published on September 26, 2012

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