To shed flab, eat from a red plate

Want to shed the flab? Eat from a red plate and drink from a red cup, recommends a new study. German and Swiss academics claim that using a red plate stops people from eating as much food and using red cups also stops pub-goers from drinking too much alcohol - in fact, it helps reduce food and drinks consumption by 40%.

They said the colour red may encourage diners to avoid snacking because it is commonly associated with the idea of "danger, prohibition and stop" , the Daily Mail reported.

The findings mean the government and food industry could start using red packaging on unhealthy foods as a deterrent - and could even use more red in pubs to prevent people drinking too much.

For the study, researchers recruited 41 male students who were asked to drink tea from cups marked with red or blue labels. The subjects drank 44% less from cups with red labels.

In the second part, 109 people were given 10 pretzels each on either a red, blue or white plate. Those with a red plate ate fewer pretzels, say the researchers . Ursula Arens at the British Dietetic Association said, "Red may be associated with alarm or something primeval."

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