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Calorie Content of Meals from Fast Food and Sit-Down Restaurant Chains

I think I am correct in saying that a sedentary adult requires about 2,400 kcal per day (higher in young men/ lower in old women). So you will be alarmed to see how little you need to eat to get your daily energy requirement. In an interesting study Robinson and colleagues compare the mean kcal content of restaurant chains.[1] I hate fast food but it turns out that their meals are lower on energy than those from full service restaurants.

While the former have a mean kcal content of 751, the full service outlets have a mean of 1033. The highest value for fast food outlets was 987 at Kentucky Fried Chicken and for full service restaurants the corresponding value was 1358 at the aptly named Hungry Horse. The lowest values (best?) restaurants were Ask and Zizzi at 790 and 735 kcal respectively. I would like to see this analysis extended to up-market restaurants such as Craft London or Le-Gavroche.

Richard Lilford, ARC WM Director


  1. Robinson E, Jones A, Whitelock V, Mead BR, Haynes A. (Over)eating out at major UK restaurant chains: observational study of energy content of main meals. BMJ. 2018; 363: k4982.
Fri 13 Dec 2019, 13:00 | Tags: Diet, Richard Lilford