Most Restaurant Meals Are Too Big
If you're trying to lose weight, beware of dining out too often.
The vast majority of restaurant meals are too big and add too many calories, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
It found that more than 90 percent of meals from more than 120 restaurants it evaluated were served at portion sizes that exceeded calorie recommendations for a single meal. In fact, some meals even exceeded the recommended calorie limit for an entire day.
Fast food chains get the blame for high-calorie offerings, but this study found that local restaurants are also guilty of serving meals that aren't good for your weight.
Researchers analyzed the calorie content of 364 popular meals served across 123 local and large-chain restaurants in three U.S. cities -- Boston, San Francisco, and Little Rock. American, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants were included in the analysis.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture bases daily calorie recommendations on a person's gender, age and how physically active they are; a moderately active woman between 19 and 30, for example, should consume around 2,000 to 2,200 calories daily, while 2,600 to 2,800 calories daily are recommended for a moderately active man of the same age.
A full 92 percent of the meals this study analyzed exceeded the total number of calories recommended for a single meal. American, Chinese and Italian meals contained the highest amount of calories, coming in at an average of 1,495 per meal.
The study authors suggest giving diners the option of choosing smaller portion sizes.
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