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How Does the Size of Glassware Affect Drinking Habits?

Wine has a long history of medicinal uses, including as an antiseptic for treating wounds, as a digestive aid, and as a cure for lethargy, diarrhea, and childbirth-related pain. Today, experts say that moderate consumption -- 5 fluid ounces (150 ml) for women and 10 fluid ounces (300 ml) for men per day -- may actually be good for you. However, people in many societies are drinking more wine than ever before -- and not always in moderation. And as wine consumption around the world goes up, so has the size of a typical wine glass. In early 18th-century England, for example, an average glass held 2.2 fluid ounces (66 ml) of liquid, roughly the size of a double shot. In 2017, however, the average wine glass in England can hold seven times as much liquid -- a whopping 15.2 fluid ounces (449 ml).

I only had one glass, honest:

  • Researchers at the University of Cambridge studied a wide variety of glassware produced in the last 300 years to see if there was a link between glass size and alcohol consumption. The results were published in The BMJ, a subsidiary of the British Medical Association.

  • Wine consumption has increased over the years -- quadrupling between 1960 and 1980, and then doubling between 1980 and 2004. Part of the increase could be attributed to personal choice, as people switch to wine from beer and hard liquor.

  • Does a larger glass cause you to drink more? No one’s really sure, but a larger glass can release more of a wine’s aroma, the researchers said, and a larger glass may cause you to think you’re drinking less.

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More Info: British Medical Journal

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