Avoid the Freshmen Fifteen: Go Blue

Whether we’d like to accept its existence or not, the Freshmen Fifteen is real and it’s ramped amongst kids living with on campus meal plans. Of course, back home we were never used to the buffet-style, “all you can eat” food lines the dining commons generously provide us with. So how are we supposed to protect ourselves from the brunch-induced food comas, the west cookie food baby, or the endless pizza muffin-top? Simple: eat on a dark blue colored plate.


Of course, regular exercise and portion control help us to avoid the dreaded Freshmen Fifteen, but studies have shown that by using a dark blue plate — whether at the dining commons or at home — you are more likely to consume less. Sam Rider from Men’s Fitness states that “eating off a blue plate can cute your calorie intake because the color is a natural appetite suppressant. . .blue makes food look less appealing, possibly because of an instinct to avoid foods that are poisonous or moldy” (Rider, 7). Because we associate blue with foods that have been tainted or expired, we are less likely to finish what we eat on our plate.


So what’s wrong with eating on red or yellow plates? Well, if you look closely to popular fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell, you will notice that their color schemes are mostly composed of bright colors like red, orange and yellow. “We are naturally drawn to red, yellow, and orange in our dining area or restaurants,” states the popular blog iVillage, “because psychologically it stimulates us to want to eat — and eat a lot” (iVillage.com). Studies have shown that the bright colors of McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A encourages us to not only eat more, but to also eat faster. Bright colors remind us of the natural instinct of flight or fight, resulting in a rushed atmosphere. The faster we eat, the less likely we are to feel full. Eating off of blue plates, a color of relaxation and peacefulness, encourages us to eat slower resulting in a sense of fullness sooner.

So what can be done to ensure that there are ways of avoiding the Freshmen Fifteen? Like I mentioned earlier, regular exercise and portion control our vital. In addition, I believe that blue plates should replace the simple white plates offered at the dining commons. Not only will the plates be sporting Penn State colors, but they’ll also help us to avoid adding on a few extra pounds.

Works Cited
“Eat Off of Blue Plates | iVillage.com: 25 Little Changes for Big Weight Loss Results | Comcast.net News.” Eat Off of Blue Plates. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-littlechangesforbigweightloss/>.
“How to lose weight fast.” Men’s Fitness UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercises/2174/zero-effort-weight-loss>.

11 thoughts on “Avoid the Freshmen Fifteen: Go Blue

  1. Olivia Diane Talbot

    I always knew that the color red relates to hunger, but I have never read anything about the color blue! That is a HUGE help! Maybe if colleges began to make their plates blue, it would help the infamous “Freshman 15” and keep us a little more healthy and closer to being in shape. Another way colleges or universities can avoid their students scales to break is to have smaller plates. It is a universal fact that the US has lazy people, so if they only eat as much as can be on their plate, it might keep off an extra 100 calories. Our dining halls do have small plates, and I think its a subtle way to help us in the end. This article is about eating less and not even knowing it. http://summertomato.com/how-toeat-less-without-noticing/

  2. Adam Greene

    This post is a huge eye-opener and very interesting at the same time. I never thought a plate could control how much weight a person can gain, maintain, or lose. Another great method of not gaining the Freshman Fifteen is to not carry a tray when picking out your meal at the dining commons. This method is often used by females to reduce the amount of food they eat. When you do not have a tray, you only have two hands to carry whatever food you get. So that is at most two plates and a drink, which is way better than four plates, a bowl and a drink (like I always do). After doing this experiment, I personally cut down my plates in half and I have seen a difference in my eating habits. You eat less and hopefully more healthy. It is a great method that everyone should try!
    Both of these methods together could really make a difference!

  3. Nick Jacoubs

    Although this is a very interesting concept, I’m finding it hard to follow the support. Do dark blue plates really force our mind to subconsciously think of mold and subsequently suppress our appetite? I did a little extra research, and it turns out your right; but not just because of what your research presented. There are very few foods in nature that are naturally blue, thus our body isn’t stimulated by the color. Bright colors like red, orange, or any other color that naturally occurs in food actually stimulate your appetite, much like you said. I never would have thought color would have such a profound effect on my eating habits. This blog proved to be thoroughly enlightening, thank you!

    Works Cited:

  4. Caley Mccormick

    This was such an interesting topic I never thought that colors could effect how much I eat! In regards to the freshman 15 a cause for this is all of the sodium in the dinning all food. Sodium dehydrates our body which then leads to hunger causing dangerous cycle.

  5. Andrea Marie Linn

    Maybe I should wear blue more often! I know a lot of people are worried about the freshmen fifteen. Maybe the dining commons should change their plates if they want to promote a healthy lifestyle.

  6. Rachel M Arndt

    I never thought of colors as having an impact on how we feel about eating. I suppose not many foods we eat are blue anyway. Jolly ranchers, ice pops, and other treats aren’t exactly healthy for us anyway. There’s no real harm in trying this out, so I think next dining hall trip I’ll look for a blue plate!

  7. Casey Jordan Leuenberger

    Ever since I’ve been at school I’ve noticed how hard it is to resist eating in excess. The freshman fifteen is real, and it’s a struggle. I thought that maybe the blue color could affect people’s moods and that’s why people eat less. This website that blue can make you feel depressed, or cause a sense of tranquility. Would you eat as much if you felt like that?

  8. Michael I Barrett

    This is cool. It’s crazy how little things like the color of the plate can change up our entire mentality without us realizing it. Now I feel like I’ve been getting played into getting extra Chik Fil A, and not because I was extra hungry. If you’re still interested, check out this article:
    It puts a lot of emphasis on the contrast of colors. The more contrasting the colors are on the plate, the less likely you are to eat a lot. On the other hand if you have a white plate with plain pasta on it, you might be eating for days.

  9. Hannah Elizabeth Boothman

    This blog finally makes everything make sense. I have always wondered why all fast food resteraunts all have the same color schemes, yet no fast food resteraunt has a blue color scheme. I think it’s interesting that our attitude towards food changes just because a color of a plate. I wonder if this has anything to do with dark blue resembling a glum, depressed feeling and bright colors representing a happy and colorful atmosphere.

  10. Emily A Glogowski

    I can definitely relate to this issue with the new meal plan! I had never known that color had so much to do with what we intake! That is very interesting that when you eat off of a blue plate you eat less! The reasoning with the other colors is also very interesting. I had never known ester aunts had reasons for there color schemes! All I know is I’m definitely going to have to give this blue plate thing a try!

  11. Alexi Zacarias

    That is extremely cool how the color blue is a suppressant to make you eat less. I should start using blue plates more often. The freshman fifteen is such a big fear of mine. I do work out a lot, but that can’t prevent gaining weight if we don’t watch what we eat. I really enjoyed this article.

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