December 27, 2004

PRESS RELEASE - FOR RELEASE IMMEDIATELY

Contact - Dan Williams  1-800-452-4462 ext. 489

dwilliams@hlchina.com  

 

    

Brightly Colored Tableware Improves the Eating Habits of Alzheimer’s Patients

Homer Laughlin’s Fiesta® Ideal for Improving Patients’ Food and Liquid Intake

 

Newell, WV—According to a recent study featured in the June 2004 edition of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Boston University have discovered that serving meals on brightly colored tableware to those suffering from Alzheimer’s may boost food consumption.

 

The researchers discovered that study participants served food on bright red plates, such as Homer Laughlin’s Scarlet Fiesta®, ate 25 percent more than those who ate off of traditional white plates. Even more impressive was that the participants drank 83.7 percent more from bright red cups!

 

The researchers theorized that the vividly colored tableware helps individuals overcome a diminished sensitivity to visual contrast, a condition common among people with advanced Alzheimer’s.

 

These findings verify what Homer Laughlin has known for years: many long-term care and healthcare facilities use the wide palette of Fiesta’s colors to assist with patients’ food and liquid intake. For example, Homer Laughlin China’s Fiesta settings have been found to improve the eating habits of Alzheimer’s patients at a Plantsville, Connecticut health care facility. Food service Director Peter Riccio of the Alzheimer’s Resource Center says he has noticed a definite improvement in the nutritional intake of the patients at his facility, thanks to Fiesta china.

 

“Contrast is an important part of setting meals for Alzheimer’s patients,” said Riccio. “They can’t necessarily see a white plate on a white tablecloth, or oatmeal in a white bowl. Patients become more aware of the food in front of them, and are more likely to eat it when there is some differentiation between the food and the setting.”

 

Riccio’s facility is home to 120 Alzheimer’s patients. He says he varies the colors of Fiesta plates that he serves on, and doesn’t use black or white. He considers the food he serves and pairs each meal with a contrasting color. “I wouldn’t put eggs on a yellow plate, for example,” he says. “Using the plates as a stimulator gets them to eat more. I have one patient who prefers all his food on the Cobalt Fiesta.”

 

Aside from the contrasting colors, Riccio feels the patients sometimes recognize the famous art deco patterns of Fiesta that were so popular when they were first introduced in the 1930s. “Fiesta’s heyday was in the youth of many of our patients. I think they see it and remember it, even if it isn’t always at a conscious level.”

                                                 

Riccio was inspired to use the Fiesta brand of china while he was dining out at a Mexican restaurant. He noticed that the foods served on Fiesta there made a wonderfully colorful meal, full of contrasts. He brought the idea to his supervisor, who at first was skeptical that it could help the patients.

 

“But as I was showing my administrator the photos of the Fiesta china, suddenly something clicked for him. He told me that was the exact same china that he remembered seeing for years at his grandmother’s table at her cabin every summer. He gave me the go ahead to buy the china and try out my theory.”

 

Riccio says the Fiesta was a big investment, but a smart one. “Fiesta wears so well, I end up replacing it less frequently than I did the china I was using before. Our china gets knocked about here quite a bit. Over time, the Fiesta has actually been a cost savings to me, and it has benefited the patients’ health as well.”

 

Homer Laughlin China Company

Founded in 1871, The Homer Laughlin China Company specializes in high-fired, lead free glazes. The company is the largest domestic pottery maker, employing over 1100 skilled workers in a 37-acre facility. Computerized kilns, state-of-the-art production facilities, decorating equipment and the timeless style and elegance of the designs provide the perfect combination that is the hallmark of The Homer Laughlin China Company.

 

Call 800-452-4462 to contact your Homer Laughlin China representative. For more information, please visit www.hlchina.com.

Caption: According to a recent study by researchers from Boston University, serving meals on brightly-colored tableware to those suffering from Alzheimer’s may boost food consumption. The researchers discovered that study participants served food on bright red plates, such as Homer Laughlin’s Scarlet Fiesta, ate 25 percent more than those who ate off of traditional white plates. Even more impressive was that the participants drank 83.7 percent more from bright red cups! The researchers theorized that the brightly colored tableware helps individuals overcome a diminished sensitivity to visual contrast, a condition common among people with advanced Alzheimer’s. Call 800-452-4462 to contact your Homer Laughlin China representative. For more information, please visit www.hlchina.com.


Press Contact:  Dan WIlliams1-304-387-1300 ext. 489 dwilliams@hlchina.com