Wine Not!

My grandma always said if it’s bigger than your head don’t eat it.  However in this situation it’s “if it’s bigger than your head, don’t drink it!”  Check out this video of one of Ellen’s suggested Christmas gifts, the XL Wine Glass.

“You know if you’re going to be drinking an entire bottle of wine, do you need a glass?  I think this is honestly for people who want to say, I only drink one glass a night!”

I am sad to say that I too own an over-sized wine glass…  and it is very easy to pour yourself a glass that’s over one serving size!

Over eating/drinking because of the shape or size of your cup or plate is not a new phenomenon, as Wansink describes in his article “Food Illusions”, shapes can distort our perception of how much we are actually eating or drinking.

In a study conducted by Wansink 48 professional bartenders were asked to pour a gin and tonic into either a highball glass or a short, wide tumbler.  They were supposed to pour a shot, but they were not allowed to use shot glasses (they should know what they’re doing right, they’re professionals!)  But even though they were professionals, the bartenders poured an average of 26 percent more alcohol into the wide tumbler than the highball glass!

This visual mind trick is known as the vertical-horizontal illusion.  Cornell University food and Brand Lab states that “we tend to focus on the height of the beverage and basically ignore the width, that’s why we over pour into wide glasses but think we poured very little.”

This makes complete sense to me when I think about my consumption habits in relationship to the shapes of the containers I am drinking from.  Of course I am going to fill the giant wine glass to the top, that’s the portion it was made for!

I think to truly change the amount we are consuming we have to change the container the food and beverages are being distributed in.  Mayor Bloombergs ban on Big Gulps could definitely decrease the amount of unhealthy beverage consumption in New York, but also just being aware of the portion we are being served may increase our consciousness to think before we drink.

WP 4/9


One thought on “Wine Not!

  1. I remember hearing about the “Food Illusion” a few years back when obesity stepped into the spotlight, and I honestly changed to smaller plates and removed food from my vision when I felt full. But, I never applied this to drinking. WIth a rising problem of alcoholism, this is a very interesting concept… if there’s more in the bottle, then I should finish that, right? After visiting bars in different regions of the country it’s interesting to note that major cities provide mixed drinks in small cups, and I thought that was simply a “classy” thing to do, but it could also help in the rate of consumption by customers.

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