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Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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The Color of the Plate Matters!

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colorful platesDo you love having dinner parties like I do? Well, the next time you are planning what to serve, how much to serve, and who to invite, you may also want to take into consideration the color of the plates you will be serving your food on. Yes, that’s right, the color of your plates matter in regard to how much people will eat!

A recent study shows that the color of your plate and the color of your food play a role in how much you eat as well. A study conducted by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab  by Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert van Ittersum discovered that if food blends in with the plate it is served on, then people tend to eat more!

The researchers of the study selected 60 participants to come to a buffet serving pasta with either tomato (red) or Alfredo (white) sauce. The participants were then randomly given a red or a white plate and were instructed to serve themselves. After they got the amount of pasta they desired, the portion size was measured. Researchers found that those who served Alfredo pasta on white plates ate between 17% and 22% more than those who ate the white pasta off of red colored plates.

The researchers of the study concluded that plates with high contrast to the food can reduce the amount you eat by 10%. It was said in the study that the contrasting colors of the food and the plate send a signal to the brain that helps them differentiate how much they are eating and are more aware of the portion size.

If you want to ensure your guests are leaving your next dinner party satisfied (yet wanting more) and not overly stuffed, then be sure to use contrasting plate colors to what will be on your menu for the night. They will leave happy and also have picked up on a great weight management strategy!

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition Trends

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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