“Fast Casual” Restaurant Dishes Have More Calories Than Fast Food

If you think you’ll eat fewer calories at restaurants like Panera than you will at restaurants like McDonald’s– think again. Researchers from the Arnold School of Public Health and the University of South Carolina compared more than 3,000 entrees and found that the average fast-casual meal had 200 more calories than the average fast food meal. Overall, more of the fast-casual dishes were at the high end of the calorie range as well. Study lead author Danielle Schoffman says, “Overall, consumers should make use of posted calorie information on menus and restaurant websites to make an informed meal selection as there are more and less healthy options available at all restaurants.” Researchers Melissa Rifkin adds, “When it comes to nutrient breakdown, your best option is to go with the fast casual foods, however, don’t be fooled that they’re necessarily better for you when it comes to calorie load.” (Fox