Study Says Top Chain Restaurants Don’t Meet USDA Nutrition Standards

May 19, 2012

By Nha Nguyen

EUGENE, Ore. — If you’re trying to keep a healthy diet, a recent study may have you second guessing if you’re thinking of dining out.

The study shows that more than 90 percent of top chain restaurants don’t meet USDA standards.

Many folks may agree that a fast food restaurants may not be the best choice when it comes to healthy eats. But according to a new study, if you plan to chow down at a big chain restaurant, your options aren’t much better. The Rand Corporation recently discovered that 96 percent of the main entrees sold at these places fail to meet federal nutrition recommendations.

The 18-month study included 245 restaurant chains and reviewed more than 30,000 menu items.

While some may be surprised by the news, local nutritionists weren’t. So, they said if you are going to eat at these places, stay completely away from fried foods and exercise your right to add or take away items on your dish.

Nutritionist Sandi Thompson also encouraged people to frequent smaller, local businesses.

Thompson said, “They take care to shop at local farmers’ markets. They want to go from farm to table. They are especially concerned about their customers getting something that is satisfying and nutritious, especially in the Eugene area.”

Thompson said she believes we now live in a time where people are continually bombarded with advertisements about what to eat and why. As a result, she said that staying healthy is now a shared responsibility between the industry and its customers.

The National Restaurant Association says the industry is working to make changes such as putting nutritional information on menus. For now, nutritionists continue to encourage consumers to be aware and conscious of their food choices if they’re trying to be healthy when eating out.

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