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Old 07-26-2011, 08:57 PM   #1
Jim Crowell
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1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

Restaurants are lying about the calories in their food. Switching up the calories by as much as 1000 calories in a meal. Study by Tuffs University

Check out the full article Calories in foods The link is safe for family and work
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:54 PM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

I think "lying" is a little harsh. I think restaurants couldn't possibly be accurate enough to make people happy.

The fact is that counting calories over the long run is doomed to failure. Sure, gross errors in calorie consumption should be avoided such as eating a 1,000 calorie meal that you thought was 500 calories. But over the course of only one year your calorie count is going to be off by tens of thousands of calories. Think about it - if your daily calorie consumption is in the neighborhood of 2,500 calories, then a year's worth of food is 750,000 calories. If that guess is off by only 10 percent, that's 75,000 calories in error. If your calorie counting is off by only 10 percent you're probably the type of person who weighs and measure absolutely everything before it goes into your mouth.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:16 PM   #3
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

I checked with several online calculator to see how many calories they thought I should be eating per day, per year. Here are the results, assuming weight maintanence is the goal:

About.com
2,561 cals per day, 934,911 cals per year

Livestrong.com
2,830 cals per day, 1,032,950 per year

FreeDieting.com (3 different calculators)
2,274 cals per day, 830,010 cals per year
2,514 cals per day, 917,610 cals per year
2,301 cals per day, 839,865 cals per year

ACalorieCalculator.com
1,788 cals per day, 652,620 cals per year

CaloriesPerHour.com
2,590 cals per day, 945,350 cals per year

It should be pretty obvious that ALL calorie calculations are wildly inaccurate. Most of these sites assume that a calorie delta of 3,500 calories equals a pound of bodyweight. If that's true, then the difference between 800,000 calories vs. 900,000 calories in a year is 28 lbs. of bodyweight gained or lost! According to their calculations, if I were to pick the wrong calculator, i.e. not theirs, at the end of a year my weight would be dozens of pounds too high or too low. It should be obvious then that something is seriously wrong with the whole concept. Weight maintanence clearly doesn't work in such a seesaw fashion and couldn't possibly be so sensitive to relatively minor fluctuations in calorie consumption.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:12 AM   #4
Brandon Sligh
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Crowell View Post
Restaurants are lying about the calories in their food. Switching up the calories by as much as 1000 calories in a meal. Study by Tuffs University

Check out the full article Calories in foods The link is safe for family and work
I am wondering, how do they get away by it being off this much? I can see it being wrong by 100 or 200 calories, but 1000 calories?? How come people are not catching this and are not forcing them to change it?
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:47 AM   #5
Jim Crowell
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
I checked with several online calculator to see how many calories they thought I should be eating per day, per year. Here are the results, assuming weight maintanence is the goal:

About.com
2,561 cals per day, 934,911 cals per year

Livestrong.com
2,830 cals per day, 1,032,950 per year

FreeDieting.com (3 different calculators)
2,274 cals per day, 830,010 cals per year
2,514 cals per day, 917,610 cals per year
2,301 cals per day, 839,865 cals per year

ACalorieCalculator.com
1,788 cals per day, 652,620 cals per year

CaloriesPerHour.com
2,590 cals per day, 945,350 cals per year

It should be pretty obvious that ALL calorie calculations are wildly inaccurate. Most of these sites assume that a calorie delta of 3,500 calories equals a pound of bodyweight. If that's true, then the difference between 800,000 calories vs. 900,000 calories in a year is 28 lbs. of bodyweight gained or lost! According to their calculations, if I were to pick the wrong calculator, i.e. not theirs, at the end of a year my weight would be dozens of pounds too high or too low. It should be obvious then that something is seriously wrong with the whole concept. Weight maintanence clearly doesn't work in such a seesaw fashion and couldn't possibly be so sensitive to relatively minor fluctuations in calorie consumption.
The reason I used the word lying is that the study doesn't take any food into consideration that is within 100 calories of its estimate. That being said if you say a meal is 800 calories and it is really 1800 it is hard to think that is an honest mistake. Likewise if you have a smaller meal that you say is only 200 calories and it turns out to be 400 being off by 100% is also tough to swallow as an honest mistake (no pun intended).

Also keep in mind that these are major chains like McDonalds and Boston Market, that have the resources to properly test their foods.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:14 AM   #6
adam adkins
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

If the amount of calories in your order of potato skins is having an appreciable effect on your weight or health you have bigger problems than the amount of calories in your order of potato skins.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:42 AM   #7
Shane Skowron
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Crowell View Post
Restaurants are lying about the calories in their food. Switching up the calories by as much as 1000 calories in a meal. Study by Tuffs University

Check out the full article Calories in foods The link is safe for family and work

I don't understand why people expect or demand restaurants to put calories in their menus in the first place.

1) The number of people that actually care is almost zero.
2) They're never going to be able to get it 100% accurate.
3) If you need to count calories in order to stay healthy, you probably shouldn't be eating out in the first place.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:07 AM   #8
Stu Christensen
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
I checked with several online calculator to see how many calories they thought I should be eating per day, per year. Here are the results, assuming weight maintanence is the goal:

About.com
2,561 cals per day, 934,911 cals per year

Livestrong.com
2,830 cals per day, 1,032,950 per year

FreeDieting.com (3 different calculators)
2,274 cals per day, 830,010 cals per year
2,514 cals per day, 917,610 cals per year
2,301 cals per day, 839,865 cals per year

ACalorieCalculator.com
1,788 cals per day, 652,620 cals per year

CaloriesPerHour.com
2,590 cals per day, 945,350 cals per year

It should be pretty obvious that ALL calorie calculations are wildly inaccurate. Most of these sites assume that a calorie delta of 3,500 calories equals a pound of bodyweight. If that's true, then the difference between 800,000 calories vs. 900,000 calories in a year is 28 lbs. of bodyweight gained or lost! According to their calculations, if I were to pick the wrong calculator, i.e. not theirs, at the end of a year my weight would be dozens of pounds too high or too low. It should be obvious then that something is seriously wrong with the whole concept. Weight maintanence clearly doesn't work in such a seesaw fashion and couldn't possibly be so sensitive to relatively minor fluctuations in calorie consumption.
Your numbers are believable, but your concept is flawed.

Estimating your daily requirement of calories is a GUESS on very little general information you inputed into those web pages.

Getting calorie counts from food is very specific and close to exact. There's no guessing involved. A tbsp of butter is the same in every restaurant as well as my home kitchen, same as 100g of pasta, 4oz of chicken breast, or a piece of bread.

You are comparing a GUESS, to a scientifically proveable and testable number.

Like was mentioned, there's no "honest mistake" in a meal being off by a 1000cals.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:11 AM   #9
Rebecca Roth
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Christensen View Post
Like was mentioned, there's no "honest mistake" in a meal being off by a 1000cals.
In places like McDonalds where everything is pre-portioned sure, but in general its not like restaurants WAM everything they cook. Simple over indulgence on the part of the chef from 1 tbsp of butter to 2, or making 1/2 cup additional pasta, etc, all adds up.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:34 AM   #10
adam adkins
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Re: 1 in 5 Restaurants Lies about Calories

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Originally Posted by Stu Christensen View Post
Like was mentioned, there's no "honest mistake" in a meal being off by a 1000cals.

But why does it matter and who cares?

Again, if you are relying on accurate calorie counts from Chucky Cheese to keep you lean and healthy you got bigger problems.

Someone please explain to me why it matters if Pizza Hut tells me the P-Zone is 800 kcal when in reality it is 5000kcals? (note: i made those numbers up)

How does it matter in the long run?

If the argument is, "well, if you have an extra 4200kcals everyday you are going to get fat." My response is why are you eating a P-Zone everyday?


For the record, when we go to a chain (maybe 3-5 times a year) I get the biggest piece of meat they have with whatever type of veggies they have. The veggies are almost certainly cooked in some type of franken-oil but I don't care. What is the calorie count in that meal? I have no idea nor do I care.

Last edited by adam adkins : 07-27-2011 at 08:37 AM.
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