Big Drinkers: How BMI, Gender and Rules of Thumb Influence the Free Pouring of Wine

Smarandescu, Laura, Douglas M. Walker, and 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.

24 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2014 Last revised: 29 Apr 2017

Laura Smarandescu

Iowa State University

Doug Walker

Iowa State University

Brian Wansink

Cornell University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Background: This research examines free pouring behavior and provides an account of how Body Mass Index (BMI) and gender might lead to the overpouring, and consequently the overconsumption – of wine.

Methods: An observational study with young adults investigated how BMI and gender affect free-pouring of wine over a variety of pouring scenarios, and how rules-of-thumb in pouring affect the quantities of alcohol poured by men and women across BMI categories.

Results: For men, the amount poured was positively related to BMI. However, BMI did not affect pours by women. The use of the “half glass” rule-of-thumb in pouring reduced the volume of wine poured by over 20% for both men and women. Importantly, this rule-of-thumb substantially attenuated the pours by men at high BMI levels.

Conclusions: Increasing awareness of pouring biases represents an early and effective step toward curbing alcohol consumption among men, and especially those who are overweight. Additionally, using a simple “half glass” rule-of-thumb may be an effective way to curb overpouring, despite non-standard glass sizes.

Keywords: Alcohol Pouring, Gender, BMI, Rules of thumb, Wine pouring, Drinking norms

Suggested Citation

Smarandescu, Laura and Walker, Doug and Wansink, Brian, Big Drinkers: How BMI, Gender and Rules of Thumb Influence the Free Pouring of Wine (2014). Smarandescu, Laura, Douglas M. Walker, and 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.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2477796

Laura Smarandescu (Contact Author)

Iowa State University ( email )

Ames, IA 50011-2063
United States

Doug Walker

Iowa State University ( email )

Ames, IA 50011-2063
United States

Brian Wansink

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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