Chain Restaurants Dish Out the Most Calories

The Lempert Report: A study suggests fast food might not be the most fattening choice after all.


One of the most calorie-laden sources of foods is not from the thousands of delicious products in supermarkets, nor is it from fast food. New research has found that our favorite chain restaurants are dishing up meals with even more excessive calories.

The culprits are overly large portions and foods with excessive sugar and fats. And its not limited to the restaurants here in the U.S. A study measured calories in the most frequently ordered meals in 116 restaurants in five countriesBrazil, China, Finland, Ghana and Indiacomparing them against the U.S. 

Additionally, a U.K. study analyzed the calories in 13,500 main meals served in 27 U.K. restaurant chains, of which 21 were full-service restaurants and the remainder fast food. 

In the global study, only China was found to serve "significantly less calories than restaurants in the U.S." Fast food, it concluded, contained on average 33% fewer calories than more formal restaurant meals. 

The international study found an average of 809 calories in main meal dishes served by fast food chains and 1,317 calories in restaurant chains. 

Here in the U.S., the numbers tell the story: 1,362 calories in eateries, and 969 in fast-food restaurants.


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