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People More Likely to Guzzle Beer Served in Curved Glasses

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Bar owners might be interested in a new study that shows people drink alcohol more rapidly from curved "beer flutes," compared to their consumption from straight-sided glasses.

Researchers led by Dr. Angela Attwood from the University of Bristol, in England, asked 160 social drinkers aged 18 to 40 to make decisions about drinking.

In one experiment, they were asked to drink either lager or a soft drink from either a straight-sided glass or a curved beer glass.

When they drank beer from the straight-sided glass, they were almost twice as slow as when they drank from the beer glass. There was no difference in how rapidly they drank the soft drink.

The researchers think this may have something to do with how the curved glasses make it hard for drinkers to figure out how much they've consumed.

In another experiment, participants looked at pictures of the two glasses with different levels of liquid and tried to determine whether they were more or less than half full. Their estimates were off by a greater extent when they looked at the curved glasses.

"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," said Atwood in a university news release.

The study recently appeared in the journal PLoS ONE.

More information

For more about alcohol, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: University of Bristol, news release, Aug. 31, 2012

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