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Could your plates colour affect how much you eat?


An optical illusion

The amount of food you eat increases by about 22% when you eat white food off a white plate, without contrasting colours.

You're also likely to eat more, when you eat greens off a green plate or sip tomato soup from a red bowl.

These findings are based on a study by Brian Wansink, PhD, from Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. He found that the colour contrast between food and plate creates an optical illusion known as the Delboeuf illusion. This illusion causes you to eat more food than you realise.

How to eat less on your plate

  1. Make sure that the food you serve doesn't blend in with the colour of your plate. Go for contrasting colours, for example serve colourful food on a white plate, and white pasta on a green plate.

  2. If you can't change the colour of your plates, swap your normal dinner plate to something smaller. You'll be a lot less likely to overeat this way.

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