Eating out? Restaurant dining increases calorie intake

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2014 15:36 IST

People consume 200 extra calories a day when eating at a restaurant compared to dining at home, a new study has found.

For adults, eating at both fast-food and full-service restaurants is associated with significant increases in the intake of calories, sugar, saturated fat and sodium, researchers found.

The study found that on days when adults ate at a restaurant, they consumed about 200 additional total daily calories whether they ate at fast-food restaurants or at full-service restaurants.

Previous studies looking at restaurant food consumption have found that adults who reported eating fast food consumed more calories, fat, and sodium, as well as fewer fruits, vegetables and vitamins compared to those who did not report eating fast food.

Also read: People who eat breakfast burn more calories: study

Studies have also linked meals consumed at both fast-food and full-service restaurants with higher caloric intake.

For the current study, Binh T Nguyen of the American Cancer Society and Lisa M Powell of University of Illinois at Chicago used recent data from more than 12,000 respondents between the ages of 20 and 64.

Participants were asked about visits to fast-food and full-service restaurants on two successive days.

The study found on days when eating at a fast-food restaurant, there was a net increase of total energy intake (194.49 kcal), saturated fat (3.48 g), sugar (3.95 g) and sodium (296.38 mg).

Eating at a full-service restaurant was also associated with an energy intake (205.21 kcal), and with higher intake of saturated fat (2.52 g) and sodium (451.06 mg).

The study found individual characteristics moderated the impact of restaurant food consumption.

"Our study confirms that adults' fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption was associated with higher daily total energy intake and poorer dietary indicators," said Nguyen.

The study appears in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

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