I was at the gym today running on the treadmill when a news story came on the overhead television. The story stated that certain plate colors were linked to the amount of food people put on them and therefore had a profound effect on weight loss.
That’s a new one…
Now, I’m very interested in the psychology behind weight loss and eating habits and decided to do a little research on the subject.
As it turns out (not surprisingly), there are numerous different opinions and so-called studies that indicate which plate color is associated with allotting different portion sizes and the amount of food we eat because of it.
The big issue seems to be related to the contrast between the food and the plate, with more contrasted equaling less food. The idea behind this is that the sharper the contrast, the less we eat. Apparently, when the colors are similar, it’s harder to perceive exactly how much food is left on the plate versus how much has already been eaten.
Interesting thought, but are we really so oblivious that we cannot discern between a full plate and an empty one?
Is It In The Color?
There seems to be a discrepancy among the sources that tell us which plate color is best in terms of putting less food on it.
For example, this study tells us that the best plate color is blue because there are so few blue foods. But according to another study on discussed on CNN, choosing a red plate will result in reduced portion sizes.
This article tells us that the color blue acts as an appetite suppressant because blue food is generally unappetizing. And if you look at the photos, you will probably agree!
Meanwhile, this study shows that people ate between 17 to 22 percent more when choosing a plate that was the same color as their food.
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
People tend to believe what they read, especially if it’s coming from a ‘reliable’ source, like the news or Oprah. What you don’t understand is that much of what we hear and see on TV is nothing more than partisan journalism delivered through marketing and propaganda.
In other words, it’s often bullshit.
The reason I tell you this is because millions of people are now jumping on the plate color bandwagon, which may be nothing more than another way to confuse the public even more than they already are.
Do you remember when it was common knowledge that carbohydrates were responsible for making us fat? How about that microwaving our foods exposed us to harmful radiation? How about that eating at night before bed makes us fat? Or maybe it was that eggs were bad for us because of the high cholesterol count.
All of these have been shown to be myths that were brought on by marketing firms, greedy supplement companies, and mainstream media firms looking to cash in on the ignorance of the general population.
The next thing we’ll hear will probably be how bigger forks make us eat less (oh wait, here it is!).
What I’m really saying is that don’t believe all that you hear. And as far as choosing a fancy colored plate for your meals, I think it’s worth a try at least and certainly won’t hurt. Just don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t make a major difference to your weight loss efforts.