Sit-down dinner or drive-through: what is healthier? 14



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What is healthier: a casual sit-down dinner at a restaurant or drive-through burger and chips? It may sound like a healthier option to have a sit-down meal but is it really?

A researcher from the University of Illinois analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey spanning from 2003-2010 and included over 18,000 Americans. The results aren’t looking very positive for those you like to dine-out.

Restaurant outings appear to be even less healthy than eating at a fast-food location. You may take in more nutrients depending on what you order at a sit-down restaurant but you’re also consuming lots of sodium and cholesterol. Does this surprise you?

In fact, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains that when you go out for food, wherever it may be (sit-down or drive-through), you eat an average of 200 more calories than you would at home.

Your dietary behaviour is influenced by the eating environment so if you have a longer dining time and greater variety at the restaurant this might contribute to excess calorie intake at the restaurant. The results found that Italian meals contained the most calories, then American, and Chinese; Japanese meals contained the lowest amount.

We are constantly being instructed to eat more fruits and veggies but maybe government campaigns should look at changing our perspective on dining out. Do you think this would help to educate and promote better health for future generations?


Tell us, what do you think of these findings? Are you surprised?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I don’t think this knowledge will make any difference, It is mostly about convenience, I prefer to eat at home.

  2. It’s an American study on American eating, restaurants in America are not the same as in Australia, I believe Australians have a healthier diet at a sit down lunch than Americans.

  3. A sit down dinner then you don’t have to eat the things that are dished up that you don”t like and can leave an empty plate.

  4. I do not eat out very often but when I do I eat food which I don’t have at home. I don’t care how many calories are in it. I am sick of these researchers/ scientists telling what I can or can’t eat. I do not have any health problems but I could go out tomorrow and get hit by a bus. I enjoy life and if I want to go to a restaurant and have a meal, I will.

  5. I read the article and it doesn’t say anything about fried food. All it talks about is calories. Let’s face it when you go out for dinner she probably have dessert and at home you don’t, hence the calories.

  6. We don’t eat out very often, mainly a special occation like our wedding anniversary. This year we went to what used to be our favourite restaurant. They used to provide a side dish of salad and/or vegetables. This year they have cut out the vegetables, so I was very disappointed. The salad they had was very expensive and consisted mainly of a variety of lettuces. So I think next year I will just cook a decent meal and stay at home.

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