Ruopeng An, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, noted that people have previously equated fast food with junk food.
“But, people don’t know much about the food provided by full-service restaurants and if it is better or healthier compared to fast food or compared to food prepared and consumed at home,” said An.
More than 18,000 adults took part in the study and answered questions about what kinds of food they had eaten over a two-day period. A third of the participants reported eating fast food on one or both days and another 25% of those reported eating full-service restaurant food on at least one day.
Compared to participants who ate home cooked meals, those who visited fast food restaurants consumed an average of 190 more calories per day, 11 grams more fat, 3.5 g more saturated fat, 10 mg extra cholesterol and 300 mg additional sodium.
Lori Rosenthal, a dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, was not surprised by the findings.
“When we prepare our own meals we know exactly what the foods we are eating contain,” said Rosenthal.
Now might be the time to conduct a study on why we needed a study to tell us what common sense would’ve told us. Home cooking is best, it’s healthiest, and it’s not close.