Restaurant Food Found to Be Unhealthy
96% of restaurant entrees exceed USDA limits for fat, sodium, calories
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: May 22nd, 2012
t's not surprising in the slightest that food prepared at restaurants is bad for us, but the actual numbers, that 96 percent of entrees exceed the USDA's limits for calories, sodium, fat, and saturated fat, are a little alarming. An 18-month study conducted by the Rand Corp. found that the food we're served when dining out is pretty detrimental to a healthy diet.
"If you're eating out tonight, your chances of finding an entree that's truly healthy are painfully low." -- Helen Wu.
Helen Wu, who oversaw the study, said, "If you're eating out tonight, your chances of finding an entree that's truly healthy are painfully low."
30,923 items from 245 menus across the U.S. were investigated, and the findings are kind of interesting. For one thing, when we want to "eat less," we'll sometimes order just an appetizer instead of an entree. Big mistake—appetizers averaged 813 calories, while main courses were around 674 calories. Granted, apps are meant to be shared, but still. Yikes!
In addition to that revelation, the study also found that family, sit-down restaurants were worse nutritionally than fast-food restaurants. McDonald's lovers, rejoice! Entrees at family-style places usually clocked in at an average of 271 more calories, 435 more milligrams of sodium, and 16 grams more fat than entrees at fast-food restaurants. Finally, kids' specialty drinks are not healthy whatsoever. Shakes and floats offered on kids' menus averaged 430 calories.
So what's the solution? Putting nutrition facts on menus and adding healthier items is a start, but perhaps stopping the age-old restaurant tradition of bathing everything in butter would help also. We know—it's against everything Paula Deen would say.