Why You Drink Too Much Wine

The amount of wine you drink might depend on the size of your glass and whether or not you're holding it in your hand, according to a new study. And also whether you choose red or white, Health Central reports.

Researchers at Iowa State University and the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found that study participants (73 students, all legal drinking age or with very good fake IDs) on average poured themselves 12 percent more wine when given a wide wine glass than when they were given a standard-sized wine glass (a standard pour is 5 ounces). The findings were published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

Just that little 12 percent difference means winos people could be drinking as many as two or three servings of wine when they think they've only had one, the researchers said. (But, that's our favorite trick!)

Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State, said most people tend to focus more on vertical measures of liquid than horizontal ones, which explains why most people drink less when using a narrow glass.

The researchers also found that when using a clear glass, study participants poured themselves 9 percent more white wine than red wine. They say this suggests that the contrast of the wine color against the glass also might play a role in how much wine people pour. (It's not because white wine looks more like water?) Participants also poured themselves about 12 percent more wine if they were holding the glass, compared to when it was resting on a table.

Underestimating how much you drink can have serious consequences, including intoxication and, even worse, weight gain.

"If you want to pour and drink less wine, stick to the narrow wineglasses and only pour if your glass is on the table or counter and not in your hand — in either case you'll pour about 9-12 percent less," said study researcher Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell.

In contrast, if you want to drink more, just forgo the wine glass altogether and hold the bottle in your hand.

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