Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Myth: It’s hard to keep track of all fast food options to make healthier choices when I eat out.

Answer: BUSTED...Well, sort of!

fast food dining area
A recent Temple University study looked at fast food options from 1997 to 2010 at eight major U.S. fast food restaurants. Calories didn’t change much, but the total number of menu options increased from 679 to 1036 items. Where was the fastest growth? Main meal salads, which increased from 11 to 51, and sweet teas, which went from none to 35.

Researchers found that in 2009 and 2010, lunch and dinner entrees had an average of 453 calories per item while side items had 263 calories on average. Soon, calories for all food items will be posted at restaurants with more than 20 locations, as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. McDonald's recently began posting calories on its menus.

Until calories are posted on menus at restaurants, you can search the web to find online nutrition information for each fast food restaurant, get nutrition information brochures when you are at a restaurant or find free mobile apps such as Lunch Facts that gather this information for you.

For more tips on eating out healthfully at fast food restaurants go to

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.