Guess Who Underestimates Calories Most?

OK, we've been talking about low-balling calories when we try to figure out how much we're eating.  But guess who does it the most?  Teenagers!

CBS News reports today that they're the ones most guilty of underestimating just how fattening what they're eating might be.

The answer's pretty simple.  Where do teens mostly eat? "We found that people, especially teens, are consuming more calories than they think they're getting when they eat fast food," lead researcher Dr. Jason Block, of the Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, said in a press release, as CBS News notes.

While adults underestimate calories by about 20%, and parents of school-age children by 23%, teens do it by 34%. That's an awful lot of french fries and Big Macs and Strawberry Hand Spun Shakes unaccounted for.  Which is kind of interesting when you compare that to the young teens you see that weigh barely more than a sponge. Surely they're not the ones under-counting!

Another study shows that kids who eat fast food at least twice a week were half as likely to -- duh! -- pay  attention to nutrition and caloric information (would they be eating at fast food restaurants so much if they did?!).

Interestingly, almost half the nine-to-18-year-olds surveyed said they did indeed check nutrition information when it was provided, but of those who ate fast food at least twice a week, as reported before, 50%

"These findings tell us that many people who eat at fast-food restaurants may not be making informed choices because they don't know how many calories they're consuming," the story quotes Block. "Having the information is an important first step for anyone wanting to make changes."


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