A simple optical illusion might encourage better eating habits, researchers found.
The Delboeuf illusion makes equal size circles appear to be different sizes by surrounding them with larger or smaller concentric rings. Applied to eating, smaller plates make the food servings appear larger.
One problem is that the size of commercially available dinnerware has increased from 9.6 inches to 11.8 inches in the past century. Eating only 50 calories a day more as a result equals enough calories to add five pounds of weight annually.
Practical implications of the research include encouraging people to replace larger plates and bowls with smaller ones, choose plates that contrast starkly with food, and even choose tablecloths that match their dinnerware, the researchers noted. Those with eating disorders or elderly people who need to eat more could follow the opposite advice to improve their intake.
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*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*