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Bottoms up: Glass shape could affect your drinking

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It seemed a silly theory until some researchers tested it out. Could the shape of the glass affect the rate of consumption of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages?

Researchers from the School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, in Bristol, United Kingdom, tested a lager and soft drink of 6 fluid ounces and 12 fluid ounces in either a straight or curved glass. Two sessions were held for 159 male and female social drinkers. The subjects were randomly chosen to drink either lager or a soft drink from a curved or straight-sided glass. They then completed a computerized task identifying perceived midpoint of the two glasses. The outcome measured was total drinking time of an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage and perceptual judgment of the halfway point of a straight and curved glass.

The results: Participants consumed alcohol more slowly from a straight glass than a curved glass. However, this was only true for a full glass and not a half-full glass, and was not observed for a nonalcoholic beverage. Participants were also more likely to misjudge the halfway point of a curved glass than that of a straight glass.

“While our study cannot fully resolve the mechanism that underlies the effects we observed, these findings have the potential to inform policy decisions regarding structural changes to the drinking environment, which may reduce drinking rates and correspondingly impact on resulting alcohol-related harms,” according to the study.

While it’s too soon to tell whether this study will actually influence policy decisions, in the meantime, check out HellaWella’s Great Beeramid for calorie and carb counts of your favorite beers.

 

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