Cheers! Rule of thumb can control drinking

New York: Did you ever try using a rule of thumb such as a half-glass rule or a two-fingers-from-the-top rule when pouring wine? Do this if you want to keep your weight in check.

Sticking to a general rule of pouring just half a glass of wine limits the likelihood of over-consumption even for men with a higher body mass index (BMI), a study reveals.

Researchers found that BMI affected how much men poured but had no influence on women.

"About 70 percent of the people in the study used the half-glass rule and they poured significantly less by about 20 percent. It is a big difference," said Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State University.

Men with a higher BMI, who did not use a rule of thumb, poured more - 31 percent more for men considered overweight or obese and 26 percent more for men at the midpoint of the normal BMI range.

While BMI did not affect how much women poured, those at the midpoint of the normal BMI poured 27 percent less when using the half-glass rule than those who did not.

Researchers expected that men would always pour more than women no matter what.

"But what we found is that the rule of thumb effect is so strong that men using a rule of thumb at all levels of BMI actually poured less than women who were not using a rule of thumb," added Doug Walker, an assistant professor of marketing.

So next time you open a bottle, serve yourself a half glass - regardless of the size of your glass - and you will be less likely to accidentally drink too much, concluded Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University.

The study is slated to be published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

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