Eating Out Could Cost You

RESTAURANTS

If you plan to chow down tonight at a big chain restaurant, there's a better than nine-in-10 chance that your entree will fail to meet federal nutrition recommendations for both adults and kids...but you may have guessed THAT already!  The flavor is just to good to be GOOD for you...so let's look at where it really hurts the waist line and hips...

A whopping 96% of main entrees sold at top U.S. chain eateries exceed daily limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and they did this study over 18 months.

Here are some highlights:

•Appetizers can be calorie bombs. Appetizers — while often shared — averaged 813 calories, compared with main entrees, which averaged 674 calories per serving.

•Family restaurants fared worse than fast-food. Entrees at family-style restaurants on average have more calories, fat and sodium than fast-food restaurants. Entrees at family-style eateries posted 271 more calories, 435 more milligrams of sodium and 16 more grams of fat than fast-food restaurants.

•Kid "specialty" drinks often aren't healthy. Many drinks offered on kids' menus have more fat and saturated fat on average than regular drinks. While regular menu drinks had a median of 360 calories, the median number of calories in kid specialty drinks, such as shakes and floats, was 430.

The message to parents, "It's the little extras you order that add up."