Supersized restaurant servings are a problem worldwide—and the U.S. isn’t necessarily the worst offender, according to a study of data from five countries, published in BMJ.
Researchers measured the calories in frequently ordered meals (entrées plus side dishes) at randomly selected full-service and fast-food restaurants in Brazil, Finland, Ghana, India, and China.
Compared to U.S. data, the average restaurant calorie count was similar in the first four countries (about 1,100 calories per meal); it was lower only in China (719 calories). Overall, 94 percent of the full-service restaurant meals and 72 percent of the fast-food meals contained at least 600 calories. Keep in mind, those counts did not include beverages, appetizers, or desserts.
The researchers concluded that “very high dietary energy content of both full service and fast food restaurant meals is a widespread phenomenon that is probably supporting global obesity.”
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
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