Crinkly plates are made of clear glas, have ridges and troughs and will trick the mind into feeling more satisfied after eating less food.
New studies indicate that eating off a crinkly plate can help people lose weight and reduce obesity. This new idea has been unveiled at the European Congress on Obesity in Portugal.
Crinkly plates have ridges that manage to trick the mind into seeing smaller portions as big as larger ones. Through this effect, a crinkly plate can hold less food, but make your mind think it holds piles of food.
The plate was designed by Nauris Cinovics, a Latvian graphic designer from the Art Academy of Latvia. Cinovics is working with an agency from the Latvian government to develop the idea and plans to start trials soon.
Experts say this innovation can be an alternative for those who choose smaller plates. The plate will have a clear glass surface and will make eating more complex and longer than usual.
While looking from above, the plate’s clear glass construction makes the food look bigger. While it may look like an ordinary plate, it is actually not, but it allows people to enjoy the appearance of a full meal.
“My idea is to make food appear bigger than it is. If you make the plate three-dimensional [with the ridges and troughs] it actually looks like there is the same amount of food as on a normal plate – but there is less of it,” said Nauris Cinovics, the plate’s inventor.
“You are tricking the brain into thinking you are eating more.”
The plate has ridges that reduce its surface area, which also reduces the amount of food that can be placed on it.
Cinovics believes the product could help people shed extra pounds and aims to test the theory in a trial involving 100 people. Experts agree that trials are needed to verify if the plate does indeed work.
“It’s a neat idea. It’s more normalizing than small plates,” said Professor Susan Jebb, government obesity adviser from the University of Oxford.
“It is an interesting idea because it will reduce portion size and you can have a meal with other people and it looks like you have the right size plate.”
Dr. Paul Christiansen, from the University of Liverpool’s School of Psychology agrees that making people believe they have consumed a full plate of food will feel more satisfying.
“Many people think you have to finish the food on the plate. If you can satisfy the perception that they have a nice big portion on their plate, they will think they have eaten a full meal. If, on the other hand, you put a small portion on a big plate, they will think they are not satisfied by it and will want more.
“For ‘plate clearers’ if you can feed the perception that you have a reasonable amount of food here they may eat less.”
Some experts, like Professor Charles Spence, a behavioral psychologist from the University of Oxford, wonder how people will eat the food that falls in the plate’s ridges.
“The crinkle plate seems to provide much same impression though I do worry how you get the bits out that fall in crevices.”
Spence added that he is a supporter of slowing down while eating, but some might get frustrated if this change is perceived to be difficult. However, he said from his personal research, a wavy shape will be associated with sweetness.
Cinovics has also created heavier cutlery, aiming to make eating more labor-intensive and, in turn, longer. The knives, forks and spoons he created all weighed 1.3 kg each.
Nauris Cinovics said with his creations, it took 11 minutes to finish meal, when compared to the 7 minutes it takes with regular cutlery.
The Latvian designer specified that it takes some 20 minutes for the brain to get the message of fullness and that eating faster makes us think we need more food. Thus, by eating slower, the brain receivers the message sooner, making people eat less.
Cinovics plans to help the more than 2.1 billion people who are overweight or obese. While exercising, reducing stress and eating healthier are great ways to lose weight, tableware design can also contribute to shedding pounds.
The bizarrely shaped plate may look like some artsy plate, but its purpose is to trick the mind and make people feel fuller after eating less food.