Thursday, 18 Dec, 2008 Health & Fitness

Restaurant Meals Have More Calories than Fast Food Meals


The results of a new study published in "Reviews of Agricultural Economics" show that both, fast food and table service meals offered at restaurants feature more calories than the food prepared at home. At the same time the study showed that fast food has fewer calories than meals from a table service restaurant.

Researcher James K. Binkley of Purdue University analyzed the information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals. The data is the latest large sample of information about nutritional intake. Binkley focused his research on comparing fast food, meals served at table service restaurant meals, and food prepared at home.

He discovered that fast food was more energy dense in comparison with meals made at a table service restaurant. But he also found that fast food meals were smaller, and thus the usual fast food meal featured fewer calories than an average meal from a restaurant, whether the customer is a child, youngster or adult.

However, fast food diners eat more often during a day than restaurants diners, which results in more calories consumed. After having a meal at a table service restaurant, diners reduce their food consumption for the rest of the day. Scientists consider that this is due to the difference in energy density.

One of the most interesting finds in the study was that fast food meals had the biggest effects for adults. The other surprising result was that children accumulated more calories when eating at restaurants.

"It is misleading to focus concerns about the nutritional effects of increased food away from home primarily on fast food. All food away from home should be considered," outlined Binkley.

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