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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 11°C
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# all the wine
Growing size of wine glasses contributing to rising levels of drinking
The capacity of wine glasses has increased sevenfold in the past 300 years.

RISING LEVELS OF drinking may be partly due to the growing size of wine glasses, particularly over the past two decades, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge studied changes in wine glass sizes over time and found that the capacity of wine glasses has had an almost sevenfold increase in the past 300 years.

The study, which is in the Christmas issue of The BMJ, found the capacity of wine glasses in England increased from an average of 66 mL in 1700 to 449 mL in 2017.

Alcohol is the fifth largest risk factor for early death and disability in high income countries and seventh largest worldwide.

The latest figures on drug deaths in Ireland, showed alcohol was the number one drug implicated in deaths, either alone or with other drugs.

Alcohol consumption, and wine consumption in particular, have increased sharply since the 1960s. This is due to greater affordability, availability, and marketing of alcoholic products, as well as more liberal licensing.

Wine drinking rose almost fourfold during 1960-80, almost doubling again during 1980-2004.

The researchers noted that larger tableware is known to increase food consumption, but less is known about glassware’s relation to how much we drink.

Results showed that the capacity of wine glasses in England increased significantly over the past 300 years, with a marked increase evident since the 1990s.

Wine glasses BMJ BMJ

Pointing to possible reasons for the increase since 1990, they said the demand for larger wine glasses by the US market was met by an increase in the size of glasses in England, and size was also influenced by those running bars and restaurants, who wanted to increase sales of wine.

The authors say they cannot infer that the increase in glass size is a direct cause of the rise in wine consumption in England, nor that reducing wine glass size would cut drinking.

Nevertheless, they suggest that along with lower prices, increased availability and marketing, “larger wine glasses may have contributed to this rise through several potentially co-occurring mechanisms”.

Read: Two people died every day in 2015 over drug use with alcohol the number one drug>

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