Nutrition News You Can Use: Use White Plates

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Diet Detective: Nutrition News You Can Use: Use

White Plates Might Help You


We’ve already learned from Brian Wansink at Cornell University that choosing the right size for your bowls and plates could help you eat less. “The bigger your dinnerware, the bigger your portion. If you use larger plates, you could end up serving 9 percent to 31 percent more than you typically would.”


Now a study appearing in the Journal of Consumer Research indicates that another way to reduce “bowl bias” is through color –– such as changing the color of a tablecloth or a plate. “In a field study, participants were asked to serve white-sauce or red-sauce pasta on either a large white or a large red plate. On average, changing the color of the plate so it was high contrast reduced how much people served by 21 percent, and changing the color of the tablecloth reduced how much people served by 10 percent.”


Bottom-line: Reduce the size of your plates and try using plain white dishes – so you can see the foods you’re eating.


Seeing Red Could Help Reduce Snack Intake


Researchers at the University of Basel, Switzerland, found evidence that the color red pushes you to avoid snack foods and soft drinks. Try putting your snacks and soft drinks in red containers. Hmmm, what about those red cups college students use to drink beer at parties? Maybe college students are too inebriated to notice.

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