The Shocking Costs of Dining Out

Published on: June 3, 2019

Research from the USDA shows that people usually underestimate the number of calories they’re consuming when they eat outside of the home. Why?


Outside foods typically have more:

  • calories
  • sodium
  • sugar
  • and saturated fat (fats found from dairy, meat, and coconut and palm oils)

Restaurants don’t typically list their hidden calories and their menus may show only an estimate of calories per meal. According to the USDA, the portion of daily calories Americans consume from foods eaten away from home is 1 in 3.

A patient of mine recently admitted, “I realized every time I eat out, I want apps, I want dessert, and I eat a ton more. When I am home, I don’t feel like I need all that extra food.”

Also, the portion sizes at restaurants are too big. In response to this dilemma, “In May 2018, Federal regulations went into effect that are designed to help inform consumers about the calorie contents of the foods and beverages offered by many of the Nation’s restaurants.” More info here:

New National Menu Labeling Provides Information Consumers Can Use To Help Manage Their Calorie Intake




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Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN learn more

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