There have been studies done in regards to eating habits, especially for those with any type of eating disorder or issue that may be preventing them from eating like most people do. One of these studies done was focused on the elderly, particularly those with memory impairments. The original study stated that when someone with dementia was served their food on a red plate instead of a white plate, they ate 25% more of their food. It also stated that people served drinks in a red cup instead of a white cup would consume 84% more liquid. Obviously these numbers are amazing and interesting, and the majority of the industry jumped into the red plate purchasing frenzy. Since the original study, other studies have been done that suggest there is more to it than just plate color.
In an updated study, the data shows that yes, plate color is important, however contrast between food and the plate itself is extremely important. So we could technically take a blue plate, and put a piece of white chicken breast on it, and we would likely achieve the same results.
In addition, a large influencer appears to be the size of the plates and cups themselves. Smaller plates equal less consumption. Larger plates equal more consumption.
Lastly, contrast between the table cloth and the plate itself can also be an influencing factor.
All this said, if your loved one seems to be eating less and less, it’s important to try and figure out why. Is it a physical ailment, or a mental one, and if it’s mental, can it be corrected by something easy such as new plates, cups, silverware, or other. The research continues…