Use Rule of Thumb to Control How Much You Drink

Food.Cocktails2Sticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That’s the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Drug Policy.

Laura Smarandescu, lead author and an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State, says the research team looked at a variety of factors to understand and control over pouring. Researchers found BMI affected how much men poured, but had no influence on women. However, people who used a “rule of thumb,” such as a half-glass rule or a two-fingers-from-the-top rule when pouring wine, poured less regardless of BMI or gender.

“About 70 percent of the people in the sample used the half-glass rule, and they poured significantly less by about 20 percent,” Smarandescu said. “It’s a big difference. We would suggest using a rule of thumb with pouring because it makes a big difference in how much people pour and prevents them from overdrinking.”

“In this study, we had every expectation that men would always pour more than women, no matter what. But what we found is that the rule of thumb effect is so strong that men using a rule of thumb at all levels of BMI actually poured less than women who were not using a rule of thumb,” said Doug Walker, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State.

“Next time you open a bottle, serve yourself a half glass – regardless of the size of your glass – and you will be less likely to accidentally drink too much.”

Read the full story.

Source: Iowa State University. “Use rule of thumb to control how much you drink.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2014.

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