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posted: 12/9/2013 5:00 AM

Your health: Eat off a red plate?

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  • Would you eat fewer cookies off a red plate? A recent study shows you might.

    Would you eat fewer cookies off a red plate? A recent study shows you might.


As the holidays roll around, some of us can't wait to pile our plates with cookies, candy and family favorites.

But if you're feeling overwhelmed by seasonal excess, try focusing on the color red, says CNN. According to a new study, people tend to eat -- or use -- less of things presented on red dishes, whether it's chocolate or hand cream.

Previously, scientists found diners at a pasta buffet heaped the marinara on if they used white plates, but took smaller helpings if their plates were red. They did the opposite when the pasta had a white sauce. So researchers thought the key to eating less might be sharp color contrasts.

But the new study, published in the journal Appetite this month, indicates it's not contrast, but one specific color -- red -- that causes people to cut back on what they consume. In the new study, volunteers rated the saltiness of popcorn, nuttiness of chocolate and stickiness of hand cream.

Each person received a pre-measured sample of a product on a plate that was one of three colors -- red, white or blue. The volunteers munched and moisturized as much as they liked while they filled out their answers.

On average, people ate less popcorn and chocolate when they were served on red plates compared to blue or white plates. Contrast had little to do with these results.

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