The Daily Telegraph

At last, the secret to cutting your wine intake: try a smaller glass

- By Daily Telegraph Reporter

IF you want to drink less wine, drink from a smaller glass, a University of Cambridge study has suggested.

The research shows that households that drank wine from smaller glasses consumed around 6.5 per cent less than those drinking from larger ones.

The trial recruited 260 UK households that consumed at least two 75cl bottles of wine each week. During two 14-day interventi­on periods, each household was randomly given bottles of wine for the fortnight. Some were given 75cl bottles and others were given 37.5cl. They also randomly received small 290ml glasses or large 350ml glasses to drink the study wine with.

At the end of the 14th day and the 28th day, the researcher­s looked at how much wine was left in each bottle.

Dr Eleni Mantzari, from the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the university and co-author, found that those drinking from the smaller glasses drank around 6.5 per cent less. This is 253ml or a third of a bottle less per fortnight. It also revealed that drinking from a smaller bottle reduced the amount of wine drunk by 3.6 per cent. This is 146ml less per fortnight.

Dr Mantzari said: “Wine is the most commonly drunk alcoholic beverage in Europe, including the United Kingdom, and most wine is consumed in homes rather than in bars, restaurant­s or pubs.

“Using smaller glasses to drink wine at home may reduce consumptio­n.

“Greater uncertaint­y remains around the possible effect of drinking from smaller bottles.” She added: “Alcohol

consumptio­n is a major contributo­r to premature death and disease globally. Reducing alcohol consumptio­n would decrease the risk of a range of non-communicab­le diseases, including some cancers, cardiovasc­ular disease and type 2 diabetes.

“Interventi­ons that target aspects of the physical environmen­ts that cue unhealthy behaviour, such as product affordabil­ity, availabili­ty and size, have significan­t potential to have scalable impacts at a population level, including on reducing harmful alcohol consumptio­n.”

On average, the size of wine glasses has increased dramatical­ly over the last three decades. This benefits bars and restaurant­s as using larger glasses increases the amount of wine sold, but it can lead to customers drinking more.

The study, published in the scientific journal Addiction, highlights that reducing the size of wine glasses could contribute to policies for reducing drinking, including pricing glasses according to capacity to increase the demand for smaller glasses and regulating glass sizes in bars to help change the societal norm that the larger the glass, the better.

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