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Alcoholism & Addiction

Glass of Alcoholic Beverage Half Empty…Type of Glass Hinders Ability to Notice

The type of glass used to consume an alcoholic beverage may have a stronger impact on how quickly the beverage is consumed than previously believed. Consequently, the phrase "pace yourself" may take on new meaning.

A study from the U.K.’s Bristol School of Experimental Psychology brought 160 participants together to investigate whether glass type and size impacted their consumption. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 40, and had not experienced alcohol addiction.

Study results showed that glasses with multiple curves or a thinner portion, like a flute, made it harder for people to realize how much they had consumed, such as the halfway point of the beverage.

In comparison, they seemed to consume the alcoholic beverages slower in a glass that was more traditional or straight on the sides. Participants were showed pictures of different vessels and asked to point out which one had the highest amount of liquid. They made more mistakes in judgment on the curvy stemware or curved glass pieces.

Participants who miscalculated the amount of beverage in the glasses also demonstrated the most variation in speed of consumption. The study is especially important in terms of binge drinking, which is increasingly becoming a national problem across college institutions.

As a person consumes beverages more quickly, their intoxication level increases – and researchers speculated that giving people a glass they could more accurately predict levels of fullness or emptiness could help slow the pace of consumption. Previous reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that consuming too much alcohol could be a factor in nearly 80,000 deaths in a four year span.

It’s also difficult to determine which level of alcohol renders a person at or above the legal limit, and research continues to show motor delays and other delays before a person ever reaches the legal limit.

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