How To Have More Glasses Of Wine At A Function And Stay Sober

Researchers say using a rule of thumb when pouring wine will limit over pouring. Image: Amy Vinchattle, Iowa State University

Scientists have turned their attention to over consumption of alcohol and have come up with a rule of thumb.

All you have to do, they say, is stick to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine, no matter the size of the glass.

And this will limit over consumption.

That’s the finding of a Iowa State and Cornell University study to be published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

Laura Smarandescu, assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State, says the researchers looked at a variety of factors to understand and control over-pouring.

People who used a rule of thumb, such as a half-glass rule or a two-fingers-from-the-top rule, poured less.

About 70% in the study used the half-glass rule, and they poured significantly less by about 20%.

“It’s a big difference,” says Smarandescu. “We would suggest using a rule of thumb with pouring because it makes a big difference in how much people pour and prevents them from overdrinking.”

Men with a higher body mass index, who did not use a rule of thumb, poured more: 31% more for men considered overweight or obese and 26% more for men at the midpoint of the normal body mass index range.

Generally men pour more than women, which is consistent with other studies of alcohol consumption.

Drinking is more socially acceptable for men than women.

“Women are more likely to socially compare with other women,” says Smarandescu.

“They’re aware that drinking is not as socially acceptable for women as it is for men, although it is becoming more acceptable than it has been in the past. But for men there is still more of a culture of drinking and pouring more.”

The study looked only at pours, not consumption.

However, researchers point to previous studies which show serving size is linked with overeating. Free pouring wine increases the tendency to over consume because it is not as easily measured as other types of beer or spirits.

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