hoss magazine

Stay in the know

Subscribe to the HOSS newsletter today - you’ll get the inside scoop on design trends, home renos and breaking news. You’ll always have a heads up on our fantastic contests too!

  • colour and its affects on appetite

Colour can affect what you eat, and how much of it you eat.

Why not use the power of colour for good in your dining room at home? Simply changing the colour of your dining room can alter how your family eats.

Warmer colours usually stimulate appetites, while cool colours tend to decrease appetites. And, the more ‘natural’ a colour is, the healthier we tend to eat, too.

Let’s break down different colours to help you select the perfect hue for whatever room you tend to do your munching.

Yellow. The sunny colour of yellow can increase how much you eat. It’s the colour of the classic happy face, thanks to creator Harvey Ball, yellow can increase your serotonin and make you feel happier. And, happiness increases eating for most people, which is probably why yellow is used for snack packages and fast food restaurants.

Orange. The colour of creativity, orange can also boost energy. A scent and a colour associated with health and warmth, orange will encourage your family and friends to linger longer at the table and increase the likeliness of fun conversation, too. The longer you stay at the table, the likelihood to eat more increases. So serve up healthy treats in an orange room.

Red. There isn’t a colour in the spectrum that generates as strong reactions as red. Whether you love or hate red, it can change the way you eat. If you are positively stimulated by red, you’ll eat more. If red turns you off or over-stimulates you, it cannot only make it tough to eat a meal in a red room but also off a red plate. Red could also stimulate conflict among dinner guests.

Blue. America’s favorite colour, blue, is soothing and calming. Perfect for bedrooms and any room you’d like to encourage relaxing. However, the relaxation also affects your metabolism. It can slow down your digestion, and actually turn off your desire to eat. Maybe frost those cupcakes blue, and it will keep me from eating all of them. (Or maybe not? I like cupcakes. They won’t be on that grey plate very long.)

Green. Green is another colour that can soothe our souls. More than that, green can help increase our desire to eat healthier. It can also increase the amount of food we consume, as well.

Grey. Not a colour common to natural food, and not a choice selection for restaurants and bakeries, grey can make food look less appealing. (If you’ve see Steel Magnolia’s, there’s a classic scene about grey icing on an odd cake.) Here’s a little experiment: Place a pretty little cupcake on a grey plate, and see if it changes its appeal.

Another way to use colour to help you eat healthier is to increase the colour contrast between your food and your plate colour. If you eat a pile of mashed potatoes on a white plate, studies show that you’ll eat more than if you put them on any other colour plate.

Decrease the colour contrast when serving healthier items to your family like green veggies on a green plate, and increase the colour contrast for treats like white cupcakes on a blue plate.

So do you think colour can affect what you eat? Tweet me your reaction, questions or design ideas @Hossmagazine.

And I hope to see you at #HossColor chat where we talk colour, design, and inspiration for our homes every Wednesdays at 1:30pmET.