A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research established a connection between plate color and weight loss or more specifically, portion size.

Weight Loss: The Link Between Your Plate and Weight Loss

Plate Size and Color Study | Journal of Consumer Research: Plate Size and Color Suggestibility: The Delboeuf Illusion’s Bias on Serving and Eating Behavior (PDF) Previous studies have established links between the size of plates and portion sizes. Essentially, the larger the plate the more food people pile on.

Study and Findings: Brian Wansink, a behavioral eating researcher at Cornell University not only looked at the size of the plate but the color. His team recruited 60 adults attending a college reunion.

“On the first day of the reunion, we directed lunch goers to a buffet table where they served themselves pasta that was premixed with a red tomato sauce or to a buffet table where they served themselves pasta that was premixed with a cream-based white Alfredo sauce. At each of these tables they were randomly given a white plate or dark red plate.” (Source: Plate Size and Suggestibility Study)

The result, people who had white Alfredo sauce on white colored plates served themselves more and had larger portions.

The people who ate the red marinara sauce on red plates also ate more and had larger portions. However, the contrast color segment (those who had white Alfredo sauce on red plates, and vice versa) actually had smaller portions.

A contrast between plate color and the color of food may have an impact on eating and therefore diet and weight loss (as part of a weight loss regime that includes healthy eating and exercise, of course!).  And it’s it not just the contrast between the color of the food and the color of the plate but the color of the table or tablecloth – in this case, there should be minimal color contrast between the table and the color of the plate, thereby emphasizing the contrast between the food and the plate.

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