Blue plates encourage appetite

this image shows a blue plate with food on

 Salisbury District Hospital have discovered that blue plates encourage the elderly to eat more.

When food is served on blue plates rather than white ones older patients ate nearly a third more. It is thought this is because the blue plates make the food look more attractive.

That means for every three forkfuls eaten from a white plate, four were eaten from  a blue one. 

Head of catering Ian Robinson said: ‘It has proved so successful we are switching to blue crockery right across the hospital trust.’ 

I also think it may also be because the food stands out well on blue plates as there are no foods that are naturally this colour. This also helps the elderly who have sight loss and the contrast is particularly important for those with dementia

Hospital malnutrition is a major problem, especially for the elderly, who occupy two in three beds. In a study by Age Concern in 2006 it was found that six in ten older patients were at risk of becoming malnourished in hospital.

Experts believe standard white or pale crockery dulls the appetite of ill people because foods such as chicken, chips, mash or pork chops are beige.

Managers  having seen that blue plates encourage appetite, believe all patients in the 455-bed hospital could benefit and intend to introduce blue plates in every ward.


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.


  1. Hi Megan,

    That’s interesting to read. Perhaps the school of thought has changed recently! I am not sure I would fine a blue or red plate particularly appealing personally.


  2. I was told the exact opposite in a feng shui class

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