Study finds plate color affects serving size

When color of food and plates match, people tend to serve themselves more.

June 18—A new study by researchers at Cornell University suggests that people tend to take more generous helpings when the food they eat is of the same hue as the plate on which it is placed.

When foods "blend in" with their background, people serve themselves 20% more than if they were serving the same meal on a plate of contrasting color. In the study, people were given either a red or a white dinner plate and led to one of two buffet tables offering pasta; one in tomato sauce, the other in cream sauce, the Telegraph reports.

Those given crockery which "matched" their food—red for tomato sauce, or white for cream sauce, gave themselves helpings between 17% and 22% larger than those with plates of contrasting color.