The Color of Your Dishes Could Be Making You Eat More


platesAnother day, another dieting study, right? But today brings one that, I must say, is decidedly not the "same old, same old." Using a plate or glass or bowl that is either red or red-trimmed or even has a red sticker on it may prompt people to eat or drink less, a Swiss study has found. Researchers think it may have something to do with our association of the color red with the concept of "stopping" or "danger." Yes, just the merest hint of the color red on our dishware may help us take in less calories and lose weight. Isn't that crazy?

OK, so first of all, who thinks up studies like this? But also, how fascinating!

Who would really have predicted that something as minor as a red sticker on a cup or bowl could make people alter the way they eat -- or could be a key to weight loss? (Blue stickers and plates made people eat more. Cobalt and Blue Willow fans, beware!) Our brains are so mysterious when it comes to eating and appetite and dieting, aren't they? So many factors affect our appetites: everything from our emotional state to the context of consumption (as those of us who are nighttime-in-front-of-the-TV snackers know only too well) to the color of the dishes.

And in fact, it's not only dish color. Researches suggest that people who want to eat less might simply place a red napkin next to their dish, or use a red placemat, to send a "halt" or "caution" signal to their brains.

I must say, although on some level this study seems pretty ridiculous, it also seems like an easy (and kind of fun) thing to experiment with. I might look for a red bowl for my salty nighttime snacks -- just to see what happens, you know? At the very least, it's an excuse to buy a pretty new dish.

Do you think you might try to use a red bowl or napkin to trick yourself into eating less?


Image via Tiger Girl/Flickr

diets, eating habits, weight loss


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nonmember avatar Mike M

Interesting, though the effect may disappear entirely if the subject(s) is aware of this study. And not mentioned here but in the linked article is that the study was done using snacks rather than a regular meal (where people would likely be more inclined to clear their plate regardless of its color). Personally, one simple suggestion I have is to just drink more water if you want to lose weight as it fills you up.

Saphi... SaphiraJFire

wow that is interesting I have heard something to this effect before saying yellow helped to hurry .

I have red an blue plates you know it makes sence I alwasy seem to be hungrier when we eat of the blue snowman plates. We usually use the red paltes and I get full so fast! lol

Although I get full fast anyway! lol I always eat less than every one else lol.

MamaM... MamaMandee

Hmmmm very interesting. I might have to buy a red plate and try out this myself!

momka... momkaribg

I need some red plates lol

allie... alliesmom112

Interesting for sure. The mind can be a powerful thing

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

Intersting,I might give it a try,can't hurt lol besides red is a nice color!!!

Chari... Charizma77

Interesting, wish we had red plates!

Kaina... Kainalu55


Kaina... Kainalu55

give me a huge red bowl of ice cream! I can assure you...i'll finish it! lol

lalas... lalasmama2007

We have some red plates and I don't eat any differently when I eat off of them. lol

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