No surprise here: Kids consume more sugary drinks and calories when they feast on fast food (126 additional calories for children and 309 calories for adolescents, according to a new study). But here’s a key finding: Eating outside the home in general can put children at risk for unhealthy consumption. So if you’re avoiding fast food when you dine out, don’t assume you’re in the clear.
When children and adolescents ate at full-service restaurants versus home, they had more sugar, saturated fat and sodium. Surprisingly, the calorie consumption was higher for children eating at full-service restaurants rather than fast food restaurants! Why? Simple—the chefs want to show you love—and they do that with bigger than intended portions.
Even if you’re not ordering greasy, fried foods, portion sizes may be sabotaging your diet. Thousands of restaurant-goers superseded the daily intake of essential nutrients such as protein.
Establishments rarely serve up plates that look like the portions on the U.S.D.A. MyPlate. If you’re out, box up what’s in excess. If that shorts you, supplement your meal with the right sides—usually, more fruits and vegetables! Here’s an easy way to visualize what a healthy plate looks like.
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