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Colors and Appetite – Colors that suppress and stimulate apettite

By Mark Slansky
Food Pyramid -

Color is an essential part of our daily lives and is closely linked to our emotions. Our daily eating habits also have a tendency to be linked to our emotional state and therefore, colors and appetite have a relationship that cannot be ignored.

Nutritionists and psychologist alike would agree that different colors possess the ability to sway our palettes for the better or for the worse. Colors and appetite play off one another and are often used as strategic techniques in restaurants to appeal to and inspire customers.

Colors that suppress appetite

Certain colors have been shown to diminish appetite and are often used to help individuals maintain balanced diets. Gray, brown, black and blue are all colors that have a tendency to decrease appetite. It is believed that these colors have an overall calming effect on the subconscious and lead people to eat more slowly and significantly less. It is recommended that those looking to maintain a healthy calorie count eat meals off of plates that are crafted in one of these dim colors.

Colors that stimulate appetite

Colors and appetite can also work together to create the opposite effect. Red and yellow are notoriously incorporated into dishes or table wear as a way to stimulate the appetites of those dining in-house. Both colors are considered energetic, happy and in many studies, have shown the ability to slightly raise blood pressure. Red is considered particularly intense and yellow is believed to help people concentrate. Together, these colors promote a strong focus on an increased appetite. They are warm and welcoming colors that make people comfortable in their surroundings. While existing in this positive emotional state, there is a tendency to consume greater amounts than one normally might.

Unnatural color for natural effects

Colors that don’t often appear often in nature can decrease appetite and keep calorie counts in check. The color blue is well known to work as an appetite suppressant. Beyond blueberries, there are not many natural foods that are found blue in nature. This means that our minds tend to be void of any natural responses to the color and our appetites decrease at the sight of this hue. Some people believe that the tendency to shy away from blue food is linked to the color being a sign of poison when presented in a variety of berries and herbs.

Food coloring and calories

Those looking to watch their weight may find the answer to avoiding delicious temptations in the effects of food coloring. Some psychologists recommend using food color on hard to resist delights to dye them unnatural colors and make them appear undesirable. Because colors and appetite are linked to emotion, making a food we love appear unnatural will help diminish appetite and keep calorie intake in check.

Colors and appetite may be linked, but they can also be adjusted to fit our tastes, diets and styles. The next time you step into a restaurant or browse a farmer’s market stand, be sure to take note of the color schemes around you and the games they may be playing with your appetite.

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