Food might have more calories than it says it does.

Posted on March 22, 2010

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 A study from Tufts University, in Boston, MA (home of the Mayor’s Health Line) tested the calorie content of restaurants and frozen meals. They surveyed 39 dishes in total. This included 18 sides and entrees from national sit down restaurants, 11 side dishes and entrees from fast food restaurants, and 10 frozen meals.

For their survey, they compared their analysis of the calorie content of the food to the published calorie information provided to the general public.

They found that, on average, restaurant calories were about 18 percent higher than what was published. On average, the calories of the packaged frozen foods were about eight percent higher than published statistics. In the restaurant food, portion size could be one of the attributing factors to the increase in calories.

Of the restaurants studied, five restaurants provided free side dishes. The average amount of calories in the side dishes was greater than for the entrees themselves.

This study only included a small sample population and further research is necessary, but the information it provides is important to consumers. The researchers said, in a HealthDay News article, “A positive energy balance of only five percent per day for an individual requiring 2,000 kcal/day could lead to a 10-pound weight gain in a single year.” This quotation shows the negative consequences that might result from this misinformation.

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Posted in: Food, Health, Nutrition