Full-Service Restaurants Can Be Worse for Health Than Fast Food

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Diners might be getting more than they realize when eating out.

A new study shows that people consume about 200 more calories — and more fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium — when they eat out at full-service restaurants than they do when eating at home.

University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An conducted the study, which was published in the current issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He states in a press release issued by the university this week:

“These findings reveal that eating at a full-service restaurant is not necessarily healthier than eating at a fast-food outlet. In fact, you may be at higher risk of overeating in a full-service restaurant than when eating fast food.”

An reached his conclusions after analyzing eight years of data on more than 18,000 adults living in the U.S. The data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a federal agency.

An concludes that, compared with when they eat at home, people who eat at either full-service or fast-food restaurants consume approximately 10 additional grams of total fat per day.

However, people who eat at full-service restaurants consume more cholesterol (58 additional milligrams) than those who eat at fast-food restaurants (10 additional milligrams).

People who eat at full-service restaurants also consume an additional 412 milligrams of sodium per day, compared with an extra 300 milligrams for those who consume fast food.

The good news is that people eat more healthy nutrients — including certain vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids — when they eat at full-service restaurants compared with when they eat at home or at fast-food chains.

Do you believe that eating at a restaurant can be worse than eating fast food? Will this study change your dining habits? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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