10 Facts about How Colors Affect Your Appetite ...

Ever wondered why food companies choose the packaging they do, or why you think some foods look better than others? Research shows that different colors have different effects on our appetites, so I hunted out the top ten facts...

1. Colors in Food We Avoid ...

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We naturally avoid blue, purple and black foods, as we are programmed to think that these foods will be gone off or lethal. Apart from blueberries, gooseberries and eggplants, there are no naturally occurring foods in these colors. However, some foods are dyed these colors, and it does not appear to have the same effect. Popular sweets Smarties were forced to bring back the bright blue sweet after it received many complaints when it was removed!

2. Blue Food, Anyone?

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Blue food constantly wins the β€˜least appetizing’ food award. A study which involved asking contestants their favorite foods, dying them blue and asking them to eat them showed that blue food is instantly found to be much less appealing, even if it tastes normal.

3. The Most Appetizing Color is ...

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That's right! It's red! Red food (as well as the color red itself) is appetite stimulating, creating feelings of intimacy and energy. If you are having a problem with your appetite, bring in some red into your kitchen! I find that having red placemats worked wonders for me, as it makes sure that I am hungry when I sit down to eat. I used to have a real problem with picking at my food, skipping the real meal and then being hungry and snacking later, but my placemats seem to have really helped!

4. Yellow Also Increases the Appetite ...

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Yellow is also appetite stimulating, because it relates to happiness. Ever noticed that restaurants have yellow painted windows or yellow flowers at the table? This homely look is to make you feel more welcome, and hungrier.

5. We Eat and Drink with Our Eyes ...

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If you change the color of popular drinks, most people will not be able to identify the drink!

"There were a number of studies performed at the University of Washington on how the perception of taste is effected by color. In one study subjects tasted drinks and were able to see the β€œcorrect” colors of the drinks, and they were always able to identify the taste of the drink correctly.

However, when they could not see the color of the drink, they made mistakes. For example, 70 percent of the people who tasted the grape drink, said it was grape. With 15 percent of the people thinking it was lemon-lime. Only 30 percent of the people who tasted the cherry drink thought it was cherry. Most people thought the cherry drink was lemon-lime."

- Melissa Breyer
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6. Green Color Stands for Healthy?

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6. Green Color Stands for Healthy?

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Green foods are interpreted to be healthy, whatever the food actually is. This is because β€˜safe’ foods used to be green, such as lettuce, apples and cucumber. It was quickly established that most green foods could be eaten without a big risk of death, and so our minds are happy to eat anything green, and we are likely to presume that green food is healthy.

7. Orange foods ...
Orange food is usually eaten with caution, as people associate orange with anger. There are very few naturally occurring orange foods, and foods such as curry that contain orange spices are often referred to as β€˜angry foods’.

8. The Most Appetizing Packaging ...

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McDonalds’ red and yellow packaging has been voted the best food packaging, due to their clever use of colors. While both colors encourage hunger, they are also very friendly, and memorable.

9. Put a Blue Light in Your Fridge ...

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Experts recommend putting a blue light in your fridge when you are dieting, as this will put you off eating. You could also try having a blue colored kitchen, or incorporating some blue cutlery. This should be a brilliant diet aid, and will also give you a very modern kitchen!

10. White color and snacking ...

White food is easy to pick at, and to forget that it contains calories. So that’s why it’s so easy to snack on bread! Using a black bread bin could combat this, however.

So now you know the tricks, try using color psychology to your advantage. Need to help your friend eat more? Take a selection of red and yellow foods, and eat from red plates. Trying to diet? Then use blue plates and avoid buying white foods. Simple, right?

Have you got any tips on using colors to control your appetite? Please share them with me!
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