Critical Appraisal of the Research on Colored Nutrients in Relation to Obesity

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Study Quality
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • References


Critical appraisal of the primary research completed for reviewing the quality and content of research. In order to do this, the reviewers often use critical appraisal tools or framework for systematically conducting the review and determine the practical implications as well as the effectiveness of the study findings. The following assignment has emphasised upon critical appraisal or evaluation of a selected article by Akyol et al., (2018), which are being conducted with the help of a framework of quality checklist for primary research.

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Study Quality

It is crucial to analyse the relevance of a study while critically appraising the effort of the researcher. Thus, the study by Akyol et al. (2018), has been investigated for its validity. In this context, it has been understood that this study is the randomised controlled trial, which has evaluated a correlation between short-term satiety and energy intake of the three separate plate colours (white, red or black), can further lead to obesity (Sofer et al., 2015).

Therefore, it is evident that the study findings, which have found positive results among red and black compared to white plate wear, are useful in implementing upon the participants. However, further research is required for increasing credibility before implementing an extensive scale (Howella & Schifferstein, 2019). The authors studied an outcome, i.e. dependent variable, which is the individual’s short-term satiety and energy intake, which could be improved of the plate colour. It is also noteworthy that recent pieces of evidence are showing that the different colours, particularly the red colour have shown reduced energy intake (Genschow et al., 2011), can be impacting on satiety and energy intake is a common issue, which is affecting the quality of life of the population. A study conducted by Piqueras-Fiszman et al. (2013), showing the colour of the plates may impact the food served in restaurant settings. Therefore, the independent variable, i.e. the restriction of coloured dishware of individuals can influence on energy intake, is a common concern for the dietetics practice.

The research question of the study is highlighting the specific intervention, i.e. ‘whether food consumption during an open buffet meal was different when using same-sized white, red or black plates.’. The outcome was also mentioned, which is ‘energy reduction can impact of dishware colour’. Although the target population has been specified, i.e. red and black coloured plates; however, the research question does not specify setting (Akyol et al., 2018).

In regards to analysing the validity of the study, the presence of research or population bias has been evaluated. In this context, it has been found that the researchers have included sufficient detail of inclusion and exclusion criteria. For instance, women in good overall health or not on calorie restriction, have been included in the trial while excluding ‘pregnant or lactating, professional sportsperson, and composition of any medicine influencing the appetite or weight management, and susceptibility to depression’. All the criteria have been applied equally to all participants (Genschow et al., 2011). The exclusion criteria revealed that health and other criteria of subjects have considered; whereas, the inclusion criteria indicates that subjects are representing the relevant population of the target. They have also collected general health history and the dietary patterns of the participants.

In regards to the method, the authors revealed that they conducted ‘a crossover study, on three separate days, with seven to fourteen day washout period between the trial day, randomised controlled trial’, indicating the method of randomisation. However, researches have not revealed that participants were ‘randomised in block sizes of three to ensure equal balance’ in different groups. Through collecting demographic and health data, it is ensured that the distribution of disease status and other factors are similar through the study group at the baseline.

The intervention was implemented over three individual days, among 54 females randomly allocated procedure and contributed in the study. The study states that each applicant was not allowed to see how much other individuals consumed, yet all participants were in the same room. It is also indicating that all enrolled females accounted for the results. However, no information described how many participants in each group had been selected to ensure that the authors have put significant effort to prevent bias introduction in the outcomes (Akyol et al., 2018). Ittersum & Wansinkb (2012), analysed the impact of colour the food and the plate, with the results revealing that participants consuming a white pasta sauce on a white plate or red pasta sauce on a red plate had significantly higher intake than participants on different coloured plates.


Analysing and evaluating the therapeutic procedure of the research, it has revealed that protocol of the research regimen has been described in the study, but all the regimens studied for enriching the research, has not been discussed here. It has also been revealed that authors implemented the intervention for only three separate days, which is not sufficient to represent the effect of change in energy intake and its impact on psychological processing.

The nutritional measures used in the study were appropriate for the outcomes, which are being measured in the study. The authors successfully showed a significant change in ‘the red and black plates’ and ‘energy intake’. The authors have validated the ‘observation and measurements’, aligning with standard data collection and statistical analysis instruments (Akyol et al., 2018). Consideration of other factors, which could affect the outcomes, has been demonstrated in detail in the study. All the measurements were conducted in a consistent manner, through all the sample groups.

The statistical analysis described the results of the study adequately, as the authors used the appropriate statistical tests (SPSS-22), considering the hypothesis set by the authors at the initial step. In order to ensure valid measures, the authors highlighted significance and confidence intervals for the results. However, the authors have not conducted the ‘intent to treat’ analysis with the outcome. Authors highlighted that they failed to adjust outcomes, addressing the effects of confounding factors, like ‘the possible role of additional factors that could be related to colour cues and food consumption’ (Akyol et al., 2018). Statistical significance has been reported by authors, ensuring that the study findings have significant importance and implications.


In conclusion, it can be interpreted that the study has discussed the findings, interpreting the outcomes with the existing evidence. In addition, the confounding aspects, as well as limitations of the study, have also been provided. Therefore, it can be said that the study is credible, ethical and have significant implication while having significant room for improving its validity and quality of outcomes. However, the authors have not included funding information while giving affiliation information.


  1. Akyol, A., Ayaz, A., Inan-Eroglu, E., Cetin, C., & Samur, G. (2018). Impact of three different plate colours on short-term satiety and energy intake: A randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, 17(1), 46. DOI: 10.1186/s12937-018-0350-1
  2. Genschow, O., Reutner. L., Wänkeb, M. (2011). The color red reduces snack food and soft drink intake. Appetite, 58(2), 699-702. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.12.023
  3. Howella, F. B., Schifferstein, N. J. H. (2019). How neutral coloured backgrounds affect the attractiveness and expensiveness of fresh produce. Food Quality and Preference, 78, 103718. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2019.05.018
  4. Ittersum, V. K., & Wansink, B. (2012). Plate Size and Color Suggestibility: The Delboeuf Illusion’s Bias on Serving and Eating Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(2), 215-228. DOI: 10.1086/662615
  5. Piqueras-Fiszman, B., Giboreau, A., Spence, C. (2013). Assessing the influence of the color of the plate on the perception of a complex food in a restaurant setting. Flavour, 2(24), 1-11. DOI:
  6. Sofer, S., Stark, H. A., & Madar, Z. (2015). Nutrition Targeting by Food Timing: Time-Related Dietary Approaches to Combat Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome. Advances in Nutrition, 6(2), 214–223. DOI: 10.3945/an.114.007518
  7. Appendix A – Quality Criteria Checklist: Primary Research

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