Yesterday’s USA Today had a fascinating article on the role of our surroundings on our eating habits. Unfortunately, I can’t find it on their website, so I can’t give you a link.
Did you know – that we eat more in dark surroundings? I had no idea! Those dark intimate corners in restaurants aren’t good for us! So much for romance! However, we can still have a bit of romance, as long as we make sure that the food itself is well-lit. Candles, lights that shine on the food are all good.
But, perhaps the most interesting strategy was to NOT use colors found in food in decorating or plates! No red, green, yellow. The recommendations were cool beiges, tans, blues. Apparently, we eat more when we’re stimulated by food-related color.
I had no idea – did you? But it might help explain a study from the Mayo Clinic from a couple of years ago about the color of plates and the amount of food Alzheimer’s patients ate.
It seems that they ate more when food was served on red plates than on blue, green, or white plates. And based on this, I tried it on the Alzheimer’s mom – and it works! She really does eat best when food is served on a red plate. Furthermore, if there’s a pattern on the plate, she eats next to nothing.
We all know that eating is complex – and we generally focus [OK, obsess!] on portions, timing, composition. How often do we even look at our environments? Quite an eye-opener! I’ll have to be more observant about this. What do you all think?