The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Kelly Kazek

December 11, 2011

Dieter's blue plate includes Cookie Monster cupcake

— Finally, after all these years I have learned the excuse, er, reason for my weight gain: my plate.

No, it’s not a metal one in my head. Like I haven’t heard that before.

Researchers, a word meaning people who get paid exorbitant amounts to study what we already know or really don’t care about, have found that people who eat from plates similar in color to the food will eat more.

The reason? According to the Journal of Consumer Research, if your food blends with the plate, you will continue eating because you don’t realize how much you’ve eaten.

The researchers recommend eating from plates with colors that contrast with the food, such as spaghetti with red sauce from a green plate. This makes the portion look larger and makes your brain think it is satisfied sooner.

The study didn’t state whether this theory had been tested on extreme chocoholics like me. I think the “full up” switch is missing in us. In fact, whenever I eat Edy’s Double Fudge Brownie ice cream, my brain is usually telling me: “You left that little chunk of brownie in the bottom of the carton. Aren’t you going to lick the sides before you throw it out? What about the spoon? Check the spoon for residual fudge. Don’t be wasteful.”

I don’t think my brain ever once said: “That’s enough, numbskull! Did you just fall off the Schwan’s delivery truck?” (Although it did once tell me I was two different shoes. Unfortunately, it notified me of this after I was at work.)

Researchers concluded those who eat from blue plates eat the least, perhaps because there aren’t very many blue foods, unless you count blue corn — well, isn’t that where those blue corn chips come from? — or Cookie Monster cupcakes.

I have now diagnosed the reason for my extra poundage. I thought it might be the hypothyroidism I just found out about (you don’t know how relieved I was to be able to tell people: “I’m not really a slob. I have a disease,” usually right after the “Hi, I’m Kelly…). Turns out, now I can say, “Hi, I’m Kelly. It’s not my fault I’m fat. My plates are taupe and the chocolate gravy and biscuits just blend right in.”

Still, it probably would be better if I lose a few pounds so I think I’m going to test another longtime theory that people eat less if the food itself is blue.


How difficult do you think it would be to make turquoise macaroni and cheese or periwinkle mashed potatoes?

And I guess I should be thinking along the lines of navy brownies and indigo mousse.

If you have any recipes for blue food, send them my way (the food, not the recipes. Y’all know I don’t cook).

Meanwhile, I’m stocking up on blue Jell-O, cotton candy, NyQuil and Froot Loops — although I guess I’ll have to pick out all the Loops that aren’t blue.

Hmm. Then I guess I’ll have to eat those, too.

I don’t want to be wasteful.

Kelly Kazek can be reached at or 256-232-2720, ext. 107.


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Kelly Kazek
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