Scientists Discover a Simple Trick To Cut Down on Your Drinking

Woman Alcoholic Wine Stairs

The study found that people consumed about 6.5% less wine when they drank from smaller glasses.

A new study identifies a simple trick that may help people drink less.

According to recent research that was recently published in the scientific journal Addiction, households in the United Kingdom drank wine at a rate of roughly 6.5% less while using smaller (290 ml) glasses than when using bigger (350 ml) glasses.

In this randomized controlled experiment, 260 UK families were chosen from the general population who drank two or more 75cl bottles of wine each week. In two 14-day intervention periods, families were asked to purchase a predetermined quantity of wine to consume at home in either 75cl or 37.5cl bottles, in random order. Additionally, they were randomly assigned to either smaller (290ml) or bigger (350ml) drinking glasses.

After each 14-day intervention period, the amount of wine drunk was recorded by taking pictures of the bought bottles and weighing them on the supplied scales. Using smaller glasses lowered the quantity of wine consumed by roughly 6.5% (253ml per fortnight), though there is some uncertainty around this effect.  Drinking from smaller bottles lowered the quantity of wine consumed by 3.6% (146ml per fortnight), however, there is greater uncertainty around this effect.

Wine is the most commonly drunk alcoholic beverage in Europe, and most of it is consumed in homes rather than in bars, restaurants, or pubs. It’s already known that using larger glasses increases the volume of wine sold in restaurants and the size of wine glasses, in general, has increased dramatically over the last three decades. If the effects of wine glass size on consumption are proven reliable, with effects sustained over time, reducing the size of wine glasses used in homes could contribute to policies for reducing drinking.

These policies could include pricing glasses according to capacity to increase the demand for smaller glasses, and regulating glass sizes in bars, restaurants, and other licensed premises to help shift social norms for what constitutes an acceptable glass size for use outside as well as within the home.

Reference: “Impact of wine bottle and glass sizes on wine consumption at home: a within- and between- households randomized controlled trial” by Eleni Mantzari, Minna Ventsel, Jennifer Ferrar, Mark A. Pilling, Gareth J. Hollands and Theresa M. Marteau, 18 July 2022, Addiction.
DOI: 10.1111/add.16005

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust. 

13 Comments on "Scientists Discover a Simple Trick To Cut Down on Your Drinking"

  1. Ha, ha, ho, ho. Absurd. 45 years sober tomorrow.
    Big Book–
    “Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.”

  2. Ridiculous assumption. People, knowing they’re being monitored may tend to drink less.

    • Didn’t fully comprehend what you read, eh? The researchers had 2 groups. One group with a bigger cup and one with a smaller cup. Both groups were told to drink like they regularly do. *Both groups knew they were being watched.* The experiment went for two weeks. The 130 families with smaller cups drank statistically less wine than the 130 families with the bigger cups.

      It had nothing to do with people knowing they were watched.

  3. Yeah, or if you have a smaller glass, you just end up filling it up more often so I’m calling BS on this! Did they take into consideration the factors that make people reach for a glass of wine each day? Kids, spouses, external family issues?

    • Many people tend to have *a* cup of wine a night or *two* cups of wine a night. So smaller cups would decrease consumption for these families.

  4. No results can be drawm from such a stupid survey. A smaller glass will certainly result in less volume in a restaurant. Eg i’m going to have two drinks, i dont think of the glass size. A n unscintific crap survey. Ointless exercise

  5. Rubbish, if i buy a bottle to drink at home i will emty the bottle. Does not matter if im drinking from a thimble or a pint glass!! Absolute bulls***

  6. If you need a trick to cut down on your drinking, you may want to consider AA.

  7. In the words of Father Jack. “Drink”!!!

  8. Wow then what about the spiritual experience which AA gives..lol

  9. Don’t buy it that’s even more simple.

  10. 12 oz is 12 oz. You can’t drink a smaller glass of beer. But, I digress from the premise of the article.

  11. About 7% less?? When it’s 25% let us know. Otherwise you’re still getting drunk.

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