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One lesser-developed area of alcohol consumption research is how gender and BMI impact free pouring behavior and ultimately, intake. There have been mixed results from previous studies looking at the relationship between BMI, gender, and alcohol intake. This could be the result of social and cultural influences, ranging from the social acceptability of drinking, to the resulting level of comparison for each gender, against the volume drunk by others of the same group.
Such rules are usually to pour one-third of the glass for red wine, and one-half of the glass for white wine. The study had participants pour their own wine in situations of varying social level, amongst other controlled variables. We pointed out that studies have shown that men drink more alcohol than women, that men may drink to attain a higher BAC level, and that women may be more socially conscious of the amount they poor relative to other females, and thus over pouring would be curbed.
Results found that while the BMI of women, and the amount that they poured did not correlate, there was a positive correlation for men, especially for those with higher BMIs. Additionally, the utilization of the “half-glass” rule lead to a reduction in the volume poured by both men and women by about 18%. Interestingly, it had a significant effect for overweight or obese men. These results suggest that increasing awareness of the issue of over-pouring increases the likelihood that people will be more cognizant when pouring, and thus work more to avoid pouring too much wine.
Smarandescu, Laura, Doug Walker, & Brian Wansink (2014). Big drinkers: How BMI, gender and rules of thumb influence the free pouring of wine. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25: 1060-1065. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.07.020.