Everyone has that friend who is a foodie who just loves ultra-processed foods and can’t see the veggies on their plate. Scientists from the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, have discovered a trick for these types of people to counteract their dietary restrictions.
The experiment involved 47 volunteers, who were divided into two groups based on their food preferences. The questionnaire determined whether they were “picky eaters” or “not picky eaters.”
The “picky eater” category included people who have restricted likes and dislikes of certain foods, those who insist that food be prepared a certain way, those who are unable to try new foods, and those who have all of these characteristics, although to a slightly reduced degree. form.
After dividing up the groups, the two groups were presented with a few plates of food in red, blue, and white bowls. The goal was to understand if the color of the dishes affected cognition.
“Picky eaters” reported experiencing changes in the taste of their food depending on the color of the bowl used. The “eating without complaints” group did not notice any difference.
The study’s leader, psychologist Lorenzo Stafford, from the University of Portsmouth in the UK, believes the trick could be useful for anyone trying to diversify their diet.
“For example, if you want to encourage picky eaters to try more bitter vegetables, try serving them on a plate or bowl in a color that may increase the sweetness,” she suggests.
In addition to avoiding nutritional deficiencies caused by very restrictive diets, the researchers argue that this strategy can facilitate the social coexistence of “picky eaters.”
“There is a social cost because fun times with family and friends can easily turn into stressful, anxious, and conflict-ridden situations when ‘picky eaters‘ feel embarrassed or pressured to eat,” Stafford adds.