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Underestimating Fast Food Calories

Posted on May 31 2013

American’s lead busy lives and there isn’t always time to have a meal on the table at the end of the day. So occasionally you may stop at the local fast food restaurant and grab some quick food for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, you and your family are consuming more calories than you may realize - underestimating fast food calories is very common.

During a study conducted by Dr. Jason Block, he concluded that “Teens underestimate the number of calories in their meals by as much as 34 percent, parents of school-age children by as much as 23 percent and adults by as much as 20 percent.”  During this study, Block and his associates compared the difference between the numbers of calories the participants thought they were consuming in their fast food to the actual number of calories in their meal.

The study found that the meals ordered by adults constituted of an average of 836 calories - these adults thought the food they ordered contained 175 fewer calories than it actually did. On average, teens underestimated their caloric intake in their on average 756 calorie meal by 259 calories. In the study, 25 percent of participants underestimated the caloric content of their meals by at least 500 calories.

It seems that all of the fast food restaurants have a “healthy” menu you can order from, but most of the time we order what we are used to and what is quick and easy for us to think about. We tend to eat what we like and what we are used to. If you are one of those people who lead a busy life, try and opt for a chicken salad instead of the quarter pound burger with fries. You may not be eating the best meal as even


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