Published: January 2013

ID #: 68302

Journal: Public Health Nutr

Authors: Wu HW, Sturm R

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This paper discusses availability of nutrition information and nutritional content of menu items in the largest chain restaurants in the United States. Researchers examined the nutritional content of 30,923 menu items–including items from children’s menus–from 245 restaurants across the country. They found that while most main entrees did not exceed 667 calories, which is one-third of the calories the USDA estimates the average adult needs each day, very few met recommended daily limits for calories, sodium, fat, and saturated fat combined. Appetizers had more calories, fat, and sodium than all other menu items. From the sample studied, appetizers had an average of 813 calories. The study also found that availability of nutrition information varied by cuisine and restaurant service type.

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