Fast food meals are smaller, have fewer calories than food served at restaurants

December 17, 2008

A new study in the Review of Agricultural Economics compares fast food and table service meals at restaurants. Results show that both are larger and have more calories than meals prepared at home, with the typical fast food meal being smaller and having fewer calories than the average meal from a table service restaurant.

James K. Binkley of Purdue University used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, which is the most recently available large sample of information regarding nutritional intake, to analyze fast food, table service restaurant meals, and meals prepared at home.

Fast food was found to be more energy dense than food from a table service restaurant. However, Binkley found that fast food meals tend to be smaller. Consequently, the typical fast food meal had fewer calories than the average meal from a table service restaurant, whether the diner is an adult, teenager, or child.

But, the study found that table service diners are more likely to reduce their food consumption during the rest of the day than are those eating at fast food restaurants, most likely because of the difference in energy density. As a result, fast food may ultimately result in more calories.

Perhaps the most surprising result of the study was the finding that fast food had the largest effects for adults, and that children's caloric intakes were greatest when they ate at table service restaurants.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Rethinking the computer game as a teaching tool

Related Stories

Rethinking the computer game as a teaching tool

August 23, 2015

Christian Varona didn't rely on textbooks and slideshows to learn history. When it came to studying for daunting Advanced Placement tests, he didn't turn to a tutor, either.

Researchers develop fast test for invasive carp

August 11, 2015

A Case Western Reserve University graduate student turned a research paper into a field test that quickly determines whether an Asian carp invading Lake Erie is sterile or can reproduce.

Online loans likely to lead to the payday debt spiral

July 30, 2015

Resorting to the mobile phone for a quick injection of cash is on the rise as more online lenders join the market, a trend likely to lead more Australians into a spiral of debt, says QUT poverty researcher Professor Greg ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.