Fussy eaters are more likely to avoid foods served in red bowls - Study Finds

It's always a good idea to dig out the'special occasion' glassware at a Christmas party. A study suggests that you should keep any red bowls and plates in the cupboard this festive season as picky eaters will likely avoid them.

The effect of color perception on picky and non-picky eaters was studied by researchers from the University of Pompey. More than 50 participants were first surveyed to measure their food neophobia, a reluctance to eat or try new food.

They tasted the same brand of crisps that were served in red, white and blue bowls and were divided into two groups of picky eaters and non-picky eaters. The saltiness and desirability of the snack were influenced by the color of the bowl among picky eaters, according to analysis.

When tasting food from the blue and red bowls, picky eaters rated it more salty than the white bowls. The researchers found that eating from a red bowl was the least desirable, which may be due to the association between the colour red and danger.

Picky eating is characterized by a limited intake and avoidance of foods which can increase health risks, according to a team writing in the journal Food Quality and Preference.

It's important to understand the factors that push and pull such picky eating.

The study revealed that the colour of the bowl in which the food was served had an effect on the perception of the saltiness and desirability of the snack food for picky eaters.

It is possible that people have unrealistic expectations when they see red. When presented with the red bowl in this current study, it could be that individuals' perception was impacted by previous expectations and the red was seen in a negative frame and thus the associated food was less desirable.

Dr Lorenzo Stafford said that their study was the first to provide an insight into the relationship between colour and taste in picky eaters.

In order for picky eating to be a manageable problem for your family, it's important to know what causes picky eating. These results show that certain colors can make people feel less stressed, which may help them eat more food.