University of Cambridge has conducted a new study estimating the effects of wineglass size on the volume of wine sold in bars and restaurants, finding that people who eat in restaurants drink less when they are given a smaller glass.
• Five bars and restaurants in England participated in the study between 2015 and 2018, using five wine glass sizes with the largest size used only in bars.
• Researchers found that in restaurants, when glass size was increased from 300 ml to 370 ml, while keeping the measure the same, wine sales increased by 7.3%. However, increasing the glass size to 450 ml made no difference in consumption volume compared to using 300 ml glasses.
• Lead author Dr Mark Pilling suggested that “[p]ouring wine from a bottle or a carafe, as happens for most wine sold in restaurants, allows people to pour more than a standard serving size, and this effect may increase with the size of the glass and the bottle.”
• The study found no significant differences in wine sales by glass size in bars.
• The study was funded by the Government’s NIHR School of Public Health Research; its Director, Professor Ashley Adamson, said that “[w]e all like to think we’re immune to subtle influences on our behaviour – like the size of a wine glass – but research like this clearly shows we’re not.” She added that “[e]vidence like this can shape policies that would make it easier for everyone to be a bit healthier without even having to think about it.”
• A spokesperson from Public Health England (PHE) said the “interesting” study’s results could influence alcohol policies and help develop drinking environments that encourage people to consume less.
Original source: Pilling M; Pechey CR; Hollands GJ; Marteau TM, ‘The effect of wine glass size on volume of wine sold: a mega-analysis of studies in bars and restaurants’, Addiction, Published early online 27 February 2020
Original Title : Shrink your drink: wine glasses in restaurants should be limited in size, health chiefs say