Study Majority Of Restaurant Calorie Counts Are Wrong
July 20, 2011 by staff
Study Majority Of Restaurant Calorie Counts Are Wrong, Restaurants in the U.S. are starting to list calories on menu items, but new research shows these labels are not accurate enough, especially when it comes to individual elements.
“The big story may be that there is a huge spread in the numbers,” said Lori Urban, a nutrition researcher at Tufts University in Boston, who worked on the study of dozen restaurants in three states.
“Essentially what you’re saying is you do not really know what they are getting.”
In total, only seven percent of French fries, hamburgers and other foods that your computer is displayed within 10 calories of the stated values.
That could be an obstacle for the new U.S. health law that requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to list calories on their menus in the hope this will help curb the epidemic of obesity nationwide
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of U.S. adults are obese. And one in six children and adolescents in the land in that category, the creation of heart disease and other ailments on the road.
While health regulators are seeking to address the problem from different angles, one of the tactics most obvious is that the Americans to reverse the trend of overeating that has plagued the country for decades – especially in restaurants.
“Today, Americans are becoming a third of their calories away from home,” he told Reuters Health Urbano. “We believe that the labeling of all foods that will be useful, because people are eating more calories than they think.”
The new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (bit.ly/4HWZ7) is the first large study to test the reliability of the existing menus.
Urban team visited 42 quick-service sit-down restaurants in Massachusetts, Arkansas and Indiana, and ordered to perform 269 different foods.
In laboratory tests, we found that 40 percent of foods containing at least 10 more calories than indicated, while 52 percent had at least 10 fewer calories.
And almost one in five items packed 100 or more excess calories – a finding that was more pronounced in low-calorie foods.
That’s a problem, said Urban, as the demolition of 100 more calories than they need every day carry weight gains of between 11 and 33 pounds a year.
Sit down restaurants were the main culprit for the extra calories, because the portion sizes varied quite a bit, he said.
“There were several cases where it has become much more than what we thought we were getting,” said Urban.
Dubost joy of the National Restaurant Association, said the group was happy to see that the calorie labeling at restaurants is accurate on average.
“Restaurant food is prepared by hand, which can create several variations, but this study shows that variation in the calorie information to be small in most cases,” he said in a statement to Reuters Health.
“With the menu labeling law again, we know that many restaurant chains are looking for the highest standards of quality control of the kitchen, by the weight of the food to the sizes of the containers used to carry out.”
LABELING OF WORK DONE?
Even if the menus are 100 percent accurate, there is no evidence that iron labeling of calories works as intended, and researchers remain divided on the issue.
In February, for example, a New York study found the menu labeling at restaurants such as McDonalds (MCD.N), Burger King, Wendy (WEN.N) and KFC (YUM.N) had not made a dent in appetite Youth ‘calorie-crammed fee.
“Others and we have not found evidence that the labeling encourages large-scale changes in the purchase of fast food,” said Brian Elbel, who worked on the study, told Reuters Health via email. “We looked at places to sit, but must,” Elbel said the New York University School of Medicine.
Urban said that most studies show menu labeling works, especially when it includes information on the amount of daily calories a person should eat to maintain a healthy weight.
“People need to know that 2000 calories is the average person need each day,” said Urban. “Once you put on the label that is very effective. Most studies show that.”
His advice to consumers concerned about the weight? Order foods that have more control over, like salads with dressing and cheese on the side.
“That probably salad with ranch dressing has more calories than I think so,” he said. “Research has shown that even nutrition experts are very poor in search of a plate and tell you how many calories are in that country.”
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