It’s no secret that in comparison to other parts of the world Americans eat a hell of a lot. Our plate sizes allow us to eat portions more than double than necessary because with bigger plates, people are inclined to heap on more food. But what about color? If plate area can change serving size, could we also trick ourselves into eating less by changing the color of those dishes?
Eating behavior expert Brian Wansink, from Cornell, found 60 unsuspecting adults and used them to find out just how much the color of our plates affect how much we eat. Half of those attending a buffet lunch set up by Wansink were assigned to a line with only white Alfredo sauce-coated pasta and the other half were ushered to the line with only red marinara-sauce pasta.
Participants in each line were randomly given a red or white plate. Those with plates that matched the color of their food helped themselves to much more than those who had plates of another color. The full results of the experiment are detailed in the Journal of Consumer Research.
I don’t necessarily believe that plate color affects your serving size, but I can’t deny that the results of his experiment are quite interesting. Guess the next time I go to eat, I should take into account that it’s not just size that matters.
Do you agree with the experiment?