Consuming liquid medicine using a kitchen spoon might prove to be either ineffective or dangerous, say researchers.
Lead researcher Dr. Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, insists we should not rely upon kitchen spoons as we pour too little or too much medicine, depending on spoon size.
During the study, former cold and flu sufferers were asked to pour one teaspoon of nighttime flu medicine into kitchen spoons of differing sizes. Depending upon the size of the spoon, the 195 former patients poured an average of eight percent too little or 12 percent too much medicine.
"When pouring into a medium-size tablespoon, participants under-dosed. But when using a larger spoon, they poured too much medicine," said Dr. Brian Wansink, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, who led the study.
"Twelve percent more may not sound like a lot, but this goes on every four to eight hours, for up to four days. "So it really adds up—to the point of ineffectiveness or even danger," Wansink added.
"Simply put, we cannot always trust our ability to estimate amounts," said the study''s co-author, Dr. Koert van Ittersum, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Georgia Tech.
"In some cases it may not be important, but when it comes to the health of you or your child, it is vital to make an accurate measurement," van Ittersum added.
The study appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine.