Be Careful: Restaurant Calorie Counts May Not be Accurate

Publish date:

A little-known section of heath care reform requires restaurant chains with 20 or more outlets to post the calorie count on each of their dishes. Well, it turns out some of those counts are not accurate.

According to a report in USA Today, researchers at Tufts University in Boston collected 269 dishes from 42 fast food and so called "casual dining" restaurants. They sent the dishes to a lab to be analyzed for calories.

Here is what they found:

 -- 50 dishes contained 100 calories or more; of those, 17 of them had at least 273 more calories.
-- 108 dishes had at least 10 calories more
-- 141 foods had at least 10 calories less

Surprisingly, the fast food restaurants performed better than the sit-down restaurants. That is likely because chefs actually prepare the foods in those restaurants, causing calorie counts to vary.

So what are diners to do? Study lead author Lorien Urban has some words of advice: "If you think you're eating too many calories at the meal, you probably are."

The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Popular Video