Chain Restaurants Distort Serving Size

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) — Fast-food and sit-down restaurant chains have distorted what people consider to be a serving of food, a U.S. non-profit groups says.

“Chain restaurants have helped dissolve any sense of perspective when it comes to what a reasonable serving of food is,” Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, said in a statement.


“When 300-calorie bagels and 1,000-calorie burritos became the norm, it’s easy to understand why two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.”

For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture typical burrito weighs about 5 ounces, but a Chicken Burrito at Chipotle weighs four times as much and has 970 calories.

The September’s issue of CSPI’s Nutrition Action Healthletter illustrates what’s a real serving of a food is and compares it with restaurant chain servings. It shows a blueberry muffin from Dunkin’ Donuts at 5 ounces and 480 calories is more than double what the USDA considers a blueberry muffin serving at 2 ounces and 190 calories; or that an Outback Steakhouse rib eye steak at 11 ounces and 1,190 calories compares is almost four times the USDA-recommended steak serving of 3 ounces and 330 calories.

However, calorie counts are appearing on chain restaurant menu boards, helping people keep track of how much they’re eating.

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