Sunday, September 2, 2012

Glass shape influences alcohol drinking speed

Alcohol consumption is not that bad, as long as you do not drink too much of it. And while it has been proven to be a great way to make friends, many people, especially teens, drink too much, which often leads to behavioural and health problems. Lots of scientific effort is devoted in order to reduce binge drinking and other bad alcoholic habits; an example is a brain scan method that is able to predict future heavy drinking in youngsters. Now, researchers have found that the shape of the glass that contains the beverage also influences drinking behaviour: apparently, the shape tells us something about the speed we drink its contents with.

Glass
Drinks are served in many different glass containers, often depending on which type of beverage you order. Scientists from the University of Bristol performed an experiment with an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink, that were served in either a curved or a straight glass. They enlisted a total of 159 people in the study, all characterized as 'social drinkers', and all aged between 18 and 40 years old.

Speed
By measuring the speed at which both drinks were consumed, the scientists concluded that the participants drank their alcoholic beverage much faster from a curved glass than from a straight glass. In fact, consumption from a straight glass was found to be 60 percent slower, which is a rather large difference. Interestingly, the speed differences were not observed when drinking a non-alcoholic beverage.

Halfway
One of the reasons that may explain the faster drinking from curved glasses is the fact that it is harder to judge when such containers are half full. Participants had a greater degree of error when asked to indicate when the glass' content reaches its halfway point, and the researchers found an association with the degree of  their error and the drinking speed. It therefore seems that the participants drinking from a curved glass were under the impression that they were drinking slower than they actually did.

Outlook
As drinking alcohol from a curved glass is a seemingly important factor for the speed of consumption, it poses a target for intervention. Serving alcoholic beverages in straight glasses may be a way to reduce binge drinking or other alcohol-related problems. It is also interesting to see how easy we let us fool ourselves when it comes to the shape of the container our drink is served in. It is therefore advisable to be weary when being served drinks in a curved glass: the proprietor of the pub may be purposely trying to sell you more drinks.

2 comments:

  1. Initially many persons drink alcohol because they live in very cold weather and with the passage of time it becomes their habit and they just love to drink it. Alcohol reliance is a medical term with an intentionally more precise meaning than the harms that can arise, at times as one-offs, throughout an uncharacteristic binge. In alcohol reliance a number of features come mutually in the behavior of the person affected.fetal alcohol

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