A New Study Suggests You Can Shrink Your Stomach by Fooling Your Eye

Aug 31, 2017

Kent State University researchers study how building the Ebbinghaus illusion and the Delboeuf illusion into a plate can impact the amount of food that people choose to put on their plate.
Credit KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

A new study is looking at whether people can fight obesity by playing a trick on their own eyes.

Joel Hughes is a researcher and professor of psychological sciences at Kent State University. He is working to change the way food is presented on plates to combat the country’s growing obesity epidemic.


“Obesity is on the rise in America, and the thing that’s changed is the environment, you know, not genetics. And so we thought maybe the solution would be to change the environment by making plates that make it easy to serve yourself the right amount of food.”

The plates are constructed using two optical illusions. One makes food look bigger by using a non-conventional, smaller plate. The other involves surrounding the plate with small circles to make it look larger.

Though the plates are only in the prototype stage, researchers hope consumers will eventually be able to buy them in stores.