The Color Red Reduces Snack Food and Soft Drink Intake

Appetite. 2012 Apr;58(2):699-702. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.12.023. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Abstract

Based on evidence that the color red elicits avoidance motivation across contexts (Mehta & Zhu, 2009), two studies investigated the effect of the color red on snack food and soft drink consumption. In line with our hypothesis, participants drank less from a red labeled cup than from a blue labeled cup (Study 1), and ate less snack food from a red plate than from a blue or white plate (Study 2). The results suggest that red functions as a subtle stop signal that works outside of focused awareness and thereby reduces incidental food and drink intake.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbonated Beverages*
  • Color*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology*
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perception