December 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm
by Christine Mattheis
Are you looking to shed a few pounds or maintain your healthy weight? The secret may be as simple as changing the color of your plates. According to new research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the color of your plate may influence how much you eat in one sitting. Researchers found that people tend to load their dishes with more food when the color of the food is similar to the color of the plates.
ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser set up a similar experiment for this morning’s Good Morning America. Ten participants were invited for a free lunch of pasta with marinara sauce. Half were offered white plates and half red plates. People with red plates took an average of 2 ounces more than those with white plates.
Two ounces may not seem that threatening at first, but the effects may add up over time. Dr. Besser warns that for this specific meal, 2 extra ounces means 200 more calories consumed, which adds up to 2 pounds a month and eventually 24 pounds per year.
Which colors should you stay away from? Dr. Besser recommends avoiding red and gold plates since these colors are found in most foods we eat.