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

Dec 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: Federal appeals court rejects Arkansas' 12-week abortion ban

Related Stories

Plastic a valuable option for farmers' markets

May 19, 2015

Farmers' markets wanting to increase purchases by customers should consider accepting more than just cash or checks as payment, according to Washington State University researchers.

Amazon puts home staples on refill button

Mar 31, 2015

Amazon moved Tuesday to become an errand service for home staples, introducing a "dash button" to allow consumers to instantly order popular products for home and kitchen.

Recommended for you

Federal appeals court rejects Arkansas' 12-week abortion ban

1 hour ago

A federal appeals court struck down a key abortion restriction in Arkansas on Wednesday, agreeing with a lower court judge that it was inappropriate to ban most abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy if a doctor can detect ...

Link between alcohol outlets and assaults

5 hours ago

A study exploring the established link between off-premise alcohol outlets and the rate of assaults and injuries in Australia has found that large bottleshops and liquor chains contribute most substantially ...

Mobilising against hypertension in South Africa

6 hours ago

Lifestyle-related disease is on the rise in South Africa, including high blood pressure. An ingenious partnership involving Oxford University is putting the nation's extensive mobile phone network to work ...

User comments : 0

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.