Fast-Food Eaters Underestimate Calories

2 years 9 months 3 weeks ago July 29, 2013 Jul 29, 2013 Monday, July 29 2013 Monday, July 29, 2013 4:08:00 PM CDT in News
By: Megan Schultz, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Some Columbia residents underestimate how many calories they are consuming when they eat fast food, echoing a study by the British Medical Journal.

The study showed adults underestimate calories in fast-food meals by 34 percent, parents of school-age children by 23 percent, and adults by 20 percent.

On average, teens' orders contained 256 fewer calories than they guessed. Parents and adults both underestimated by about 175 calories.

KOMU 8 News talked to some Columbia fast-food goers to find out their perceptions of what they were eating.

At one Hardees, Jeff Krunwiebe said his double cheeseburger was 200 calories, while Jarod Kerns said his five Red Burrito tacos totaled 600 calories. According to the Hardees nutritional menu, a double cheeseburger is actually 480 calories and five tacos total more than 1,000.

Chelsea Munich said her McDonald's ten-piece chicken nuggets and medium fries were 600 calories, but they total almost 900.

All three people were off by more than 200 calories, consistent with the study.

"I would agree with that pretty much across the board," said dietician and diabetes educator Jennifer Polniak. "I think that there are very few people who actually can correctly estimate what exactly calorically they're taking in."

When the Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014, it will require restaurants with at least 20 locations to post calories on their menus. This will affect more than 40 chain restaurants.

But a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found posting calories on menus may not encourage healthier choices. The study found people choose food for taste and convenience rather than its calorie count.

Chipotle Manager Chris Lambert said some people may not want to know the amount of calories they are consuming.

"It might blow their mind and make them realize they need to start eating healthier," Lambert said. "There might be some out there that underestimate, but I would guess nine times out of ten they just don't want to know."

But Polniak said posting calories on fast-food menus is still a good idea.

"I think it's a great idea for fast food, for any restaurant, to put the calories on the menus," Polniak said. "It creates an awareness for those who are really wanting that information, it gives them a reference point, and it helps them to fit the fast food into their daily intake in a way that will keep them healthy."

Some fast-food restaurants, like McDonalds, have already posted calories on their menus. As of June 25, all U.S. Starbucks locations posted calorie information on menu boards and pastry labels.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked 100,000 people about their smoking habits and found current... More >>
23 minutes ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say an officer shot and wounded a woman they say pointed a... More >>
54 minutes ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:45:41 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 19-year-old Illinois man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a downtown St.... More >>
2 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 5:25:24 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that the Echo Bluff State Park in Shannon County will officially be... More >>
3 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 4:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri school immunization requirements for students are changing. Students entering eighth grade and twelfth grade are required... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 3:27:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's insurance department has dealt a setback to a proposal by the nation's third-largest health insurer... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 3:25:45 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A state audit released Wednesday cites "serious mismanagement" by the former superintendent of the Fox School... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:56:24 PM CDT in News
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri plans to merge with the abortion provider's central Oklahoma affiliate... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:43:21 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia's Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) hosts an entrepreneur event, 1 Million Cup, every Wednesday morning from 9... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:41:00 PM CDT in News
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over a new directive about transgender... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Greene County officials say they'll be able to hold Springfield municipal inmates at the county jail once... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:13:17 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman already accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from engineering firm Black &... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 1:55:09 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol said a vehicle speeding through Columbia led to a "nearly head-on" collision on... More >>
8 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 11:38:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri - Columbia is under fire by the group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, or SAEN,... More >>
8 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 10:43:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the shooting death of an 8-month-old boy in St. Louis (all times... More >>
10 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 9:16:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Most recently graduated high school seniors have a whole summer off before they must prepare for their... More >>
11 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:40:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - One man suspected of killing a woman in downtown St. Louis carjacking before throwing her 9-month-old... More >>
12 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:18:01 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Two Kansas City, Missouri, men are accused in federal court of carrying out a killing as... More >>
13 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:16:08 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
8pm 80°
9pm 76°
10pm 75°
11pm 73°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
Heartbeat
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Heartbeat
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld