Can the Shape of a Glass Slow Your Drinking?
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If you’re trying to slow down your drinking, opt for a straight glass instead of a curved one, a new study suggests. "People often talk of 'pacing themselves' when drinking alcohol as a means of controlling levels of drunkenness, and I think the important point to take from our research is that the ability to pace effectively may be compromised when drinking from certain types of glasses," says Dr. Angela Attwood, a researcher at England's University of Bristol. For the study, published in the journal Plos ONE, 159 social drinkers between the ages of 10 and 40 who did not have a history of alcoholism were asked to drink a non-alcoholic drink or a lager, from either a curved glass or a straight glass. The researchers found that on average, it took those drinking beer out of a curved glass seven minutes to finish their drink, while those drinking out of the straight glass finished in 11 minutes; the straight glass slowed drinking speed by up to 60%. For those consuming non-alcoholic drinks, however, the glass shape did not make a difference in drinking speed. Participants were also asked whether the curvy glasses or straight glasses were less or more than half full, and those drinking from the straight glasses were more likely to answer correctly. The researchers believe that people have a more difficult time pacing themselves when drinking from a curvy glass, due to it’s irregular shape. “Due to the personal and societal harms associated with heavy bouts of drinking, there has been a lot of recent interest in alcohol control strategies,” Attwood wrote in the press release. “While many people drink alcohol responsibly, it is not difficult to have 'one too many' and become intoxicated. Because of the negative effects alcohol has on decision making and control of behavior, this opens us up to a number of risks.”