A recent study showed that individuals who choose to eat out consume approximately 200 calories more each day, as compared to individuals who consume home-cooked food.
With the rising rate of obesity, Americans have also been resorting to eating out, mostly consuming fast food, whereby they take in more saturated fats, sugars and salts.
AdvertisementThe study by Binh T Nguyen of the American Cancer Society and Lisa M Powell of the University of Illinois consisted of over 12,000 respondents between 20 and 64 years, who were asked questions about what they ate over two separate days.
Lisa Powell, the co-author of this study and a professor of health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago said, "eating out at restaurants should be the exception, not the norm."
The inference of this research was that individuals who ate at fast-food joints consumed an average of an increase of 194 calories, 3 gms of saturated fat and 296 mgs of salts; while those who ate at full-service restaurants consumed an increase of 205 extra calories, 2.5 gms of fat and 451 mgs of salts.
Powell goes on further to explain that these calories come from more energy-dense foods, larger portions served and the empty calories from sweetened beverages.
Researcher, Susan Roberts, who is the Director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston observes, "We always underestimate large portions, so people don't realize that restaurant portions are as excessive as they are." She adds "This is why we need menu labeling on all restaurant meals, not just the fast-food and larger chains."
Powell suggests, "See if you can order a half portion. When there is a choice of sides, opt for veggies and salad rather than fried items. See if you can get the sauce or dressing on the side, and drink water rather than soda."
The researchers concluded that all individuals must learn to micro-manage their orders or choose to have half their order packed in a doggie bag for later consumption.
The study appears in the Public Health Nutrition.