The Red Plate Solution
When you think about Alzheimer’s disease, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is memory loss. What most people don’t know is that visual problems can affect people with Alzheimer’s as much as cognitive issues. So, when one researcher saw both consistent complaints from nursing home staff about patients not finishing food on their plates despite, and a trend toward unhealthy weight loss in patients with severe Alzheimer’s, she wondered if the problem stemmed from an inability to perceive food on the white backdrop provided by most plates.
Biopsychologist Alice Cronin-Golomb decided to run an experiment comparing patients’ food intake between when they were served on white plates and bright red ones. The results? Patients ate 25% more food from the red plates. Since this discovery, some nursing homes have started serving all their food on bright red plates. An elegant solution to meal time woes.