I was intrigued by the “red plate study” carried out at Boston University in 2004 and I thought anyone whose life is affected by Alzheimer’s might also be interested. Alzheimer’s patients often have a poor appetite. Depression has been blamed and the inability to focuss on the business of getting food from the plate to the mouth, but the Boston researchers wondered if visual problems could be the cause. Patients with the disease cannot process visual data – such as contrast and depth perception – as well as most elderly people.
The research team tried out their theory by giving Alzheimer’s patients meals on the usual white plates and also on bright red ones. They then compared the amount of food consumed. Patients eating from red plates ate 25% more food than those who used white plates.
Sometimes small changes can make life a little easier. You can find out more on The Alzheimer’s Weekly website.