Higher Calorie Intake From Dining Out

In Great Britain, the restaurant sector is booming because today’s families are spending twice as much time eating out than families in the 70’s. However, according to Dr. Adison Tedstone, PHE chief nutritionist, the British culture of going out for a meal as a weekly treat for the family is contributing to the obesity epidemic.

According to experts, families today no longer consider dining out as a treat; instead, they have allowed restaurant meals and fast food to become a major part of their children’s weekly diet. Figures from Public Health England (PHE) reveal the significant changes in the nations eating habits wherein one in five meals are eaten in restaurants or fast food chains.

Society has to take action to consume less food so as to avoid gaining weight. Dr. Tedstone warns that people are encouraged to consume so much food because the prevalence of cheap and high calorie food and drinks that are being advertised. A research on 2,000 people found out that 75% had eaten out or ordered takeaway in the last week. Five years ago, the figure was at 68%.

Studies have been consistent in associating dining out to higher calorie intake. Harvard researchers have disclosed that people who eat out regularly are more likely to be overweight than those who eat at home. It is also more likely for the overweight to develop Type 2 diabetes.

To address the problems of obesity, health officials are working with the food industry to remove 20% of sugar from food served by 2020.  Councils are also limiting the number of fast food outlets near schools to reduce calorie intake. Restaurants are also advised to provide their customers with healthier choices and reduce portion sizes, saturated fat, salts and sugars in their food offerings. In spite of being reduced in recent years, sugar intakes are still too high.

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