Drinking less

Experts Say You Can Drink Less Alcohol By Using A Straight Glass

Experts say that by drinking from a straight glass we actually drink slower, which allegedly then causes us to drink less alcohol.

This news might come a tad too late for those who suffered the excesses of the recent festive season, but could possibly help us all in the New Year. At least it will help us to get over any over-consumption we may have suffered during the Christmas period and ensure we drink less in the future.

Experts say that over-indulgence in alcoholic beverages is bad for us, whether relating directly to our health or to the strong possibility and dangers of drunk driving. According to the medical sphere, drinking too much alcohol can lead to anything from cancer risk, to memory loss, to an increase in blood pressure, and even to the gaining of excess weight.

Speaking of weight, in the last week experts have said that many people don’t realize the calorie content of alcoholic drinks, especially beer, and even say labels should, in future, carry a calorie count to warn drinkers.

However, not everyone concurs with that advice, as some feel moderate drinking actually causes less weight gain than not drinking at all.

Reportedly, the British Government has offered new advice on how people can cut back on drinking, in order to reduce the current maximum recommended intakes of 2-3 units a day for women and 3-4 units daily for men. The problem is deciding how you can go about getting the public to cut back on the booze.

An article published by the Inquisitr back in 2012 spoke of a study that found that after getting married, women tend to drink more, while their husbands actually drink less. In fact, that study showed happily married men drink less than single male friends and far less than divorced men. However apparently they are still a bad example on their new wives, who then tend to start drinking more alcohol.

It seems the latest study might even out the balance, causing everyone to drink less in the future and telling us how to go about it.

According to a study by psychologists at the Bristol University back in 2012, the shape of the glass has a huge subliminal influence on how much alcohol a person imbibes. According to the experts, drinking beer from curvy-sided glasses tends to encourage a person to drink excessively quickly. However in their study– published in the journal PLOS ONE — the psychologists found that when the beer was served in a straight glass, people drank up to 60 percent more slowly.

While this might all sound rather simplistic, reportedly the difference comes as the result of what is termed a “vertical-horizontal optical illusion.” Apparently we see equally sized vertical lines as being longer than curved or horizontal lines. For this reason, when drinking beer from a straight (particularly narrow) glass, people automatically think there is more beer and thus consume it more slowly, thinking that each sip is bigger than it actually is.

Reportedly it is not just in the case of beer drinking, with experts saying the tall, straight glasses should also be used when consuming shorts and spirits. According to an analysis published in the British Medical Journal back in 2005, people tend to pour more alcohol into squat tumblers than they do into the narrow, taller glasses which they automatically believe hold more.

According to a further study by Brian Wansink, professor of nutrition and marketing at Cornell University in New York, even professional bartenders tend to go over the edge with short glasses. Wansink reckons that even with experience and training, they unintentionally pour as much as a third more liquor into shorter glasses than they do into the tall variety.

Wansink said: “Education, practice, concentration and experience don’t correct the overpouring.” He went on to say how using the tall, straight glasses can help.

“People generally estimate tall glasses as holding more liquid than wide ones. They also focus attention on the height of the liquid they are pouring and insufficiently compensate for its width.”

Another thing to bear in mind with certain spirits — and white wine for that matter — is that when the drinks are clear just like the glass holding it, it leads to almost an optical illusion making us believe there is less liquid in the glass.

Having covered beer and spirits, what is the effect of the traditionally curved shape of glasses used by wine drinkers? The experts don’t really say, but they do have some suggestions on cutting back on the vino too.

A recent report in Medical Daily suggests we merely use smaller glasses to trick ourselves into drinking less wine, but there are other methods of reducing the amount of wine that pours down our throats.

According to various studies, holding the glass while pouring the wine tends to cause us to give ourselves a bigger helping. A particular study run in 2013 with 73 volunteers showed that people will drink around 12.2 percent more wine if holding the glass while pouring, as opposed to filling the glass while it stands on the table.

As reported by the Independent, experts say this is because we are more likely to view the glass from the top when filling it when it is handheld. However when the glass is standing on the table it is easier to view it from the side and see how much wine has been served, causing us to (hopefully) drink less.

Reportedly we are advised that we should use the simple strategy of only ever filling our wine glasses halfway, giving us the ideal way to judge how much we are consuming. According to a report, this can cause us to drink around 20 percent less wine in one evening. It all depends, of course, whether you are a glass half full or half empty type of personality.

So there you go. Are you ready to drink less alcohol in 2016? Let us know below.

[Photo via Flickr by Andy/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]