Friday, 5 January 2018

If you overindulged over the holidays, you might be able to blame your wine glass

There's a long-standing result in behavioural economics that demonstrates that the size of the plate affects the amount of food you eat (see here for a very brief summary, or here for the latest meta-analysis, although the latter is gated). If the same applies to wine glasses, then this new research paper (ungated), by Zorana Zupan, Alexandra Evans, Dominique-Laurent Couturier and Theresa Marteau (all University of Cambridge) and published in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, might be a cause for concern.

The authors looked at changes in the average size of wine glasses in England over the period from 1700 to now, and found:
Wine glass capacity increased from 66 mL (standard deviation 21.69) in the 1700s to 417 mL (SD 170) in the 2000s, and the mean wine glass size in 2016-17 was 449 mL (SD 161).
That's a more than sevenfold increase in the size of wine glasses over the last 300 years. But, do larger wine glasses make a difference?

Another paper (ungated), by Rachel Pechey (University of Cambridge) et al. (including two co-authors of the above paper) and published in the journal BMC Public Health in 2016, shows that wine glass size affects drinking:
Daily wine volume purchased was 9.4 % (95 % CI: 1.9, 17.5) higher when sold in larger compared to standard-sized glasses.
The larger glasses were 370 mL compared with the standard 300 mL glasses. Note that those sizes are smaller than the mean glass size reported in the new study of 449 mL.

So, if you over-indulged over the holidays, you might be able to blame the size of your wine glass!

[HT: Marginal Revolution]

No comments:

Post a Comment