It had been assumed that alcohol was a relatively recent addition to our diet, happening only 9 000 years ago during the advent of food storage.

London - Ever relaxed with a drop of wine, only to discover later that no matter how abstemious you intended to be you’ve poured too much and are feeling a tad tiddly?

Well, now science has an answer: Pouring just half a glass of wine can be a successful way to prevent drinking too much.

While it sounds like one from the University of the Blindingly Obvious, the key lies in your ability to judge how much you are pouring.

Sticking to a general rule of pouring – for example, filling only half the glass or stopping when the wine is two fingers from the top – helps limit the likelihood of over-consumption.

Those who drink like this tended to pour out about 20 percent less than those who didn’t follow a rule, according to an Iowa State and Cornell University study to be published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

The researchers, who looked only at pouring and not consumption, chose wine because they said it is not as easily measured as beer or spirits.

Cornell professor Brian Wansink said: “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.” - Daily Mail