Restaurant dining can be as unhealthy as fast food: study

Champaign, IL – Dining out at full-service restaurants may be as unhealthy as eating fast food – or worse, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As part of the study, researcher Ruopeng An analyzed data from more than 18,000 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003 to 2010. An found that people who ate at full-service restaurants consumed an additional 187 calories, 9.6 grams of total fat and 412 milligrams of sodium compared with those who ate at home. Restaurant diners also consumed more cholesterol and sodium than fast-food customers.

People who eat at full-service restaurants might face a higher risk of overeating than those who eat at fast-food restaurants, An said in a press release. He recommended that individuals avoid eating outside of their homes “whenever possible.”

“The additional sodium is even more worrisome because the average daily sodium intake among Americans is already so far above the recommended upper limit, posing a significant public health concern, such as hypertension and heart disease,” An said in the press release.

The study was published July 1 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.