Research Finds Some Restaurant Calorie Counts Do Not Add Up

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WBZ-TV's David Robichaud David Robichaud
New England native and Emmy Award-winning journalist David “Robi”...
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BOSTON (CBS) – If you’re eating on the go, restaurants are supposed to help out by posting calorie counts at the register and online. But are they telling the truth?

Tufts researchers shopped around.

They were skeptical about the calorie listings some restaurants post on their menus or online.

Their brand new study, just out in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows you can’t really “count” on restaurants to give you “real” numbers

They picked 42 national fast food and sit down chains and found 1 in 5 samples were “at least” 100 calories over the number customers were told.

WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud reports

So who was “over”?

Olive Garden’s chicken and gnocchi soup had 246 more calories than advertised.

Chipotle Mexican grill’s burrito bowl? 249 over

And that Boston Market chicken dish? Add 215 calories to what you “thought” it was.

So what’s the harm of a few unadvertised extra calories here and there?

If you have 100 calories more than you think, just 100 calories, that’s something like 10-15 pounds of extra weight you gain over the course of a year.

Of course the National Restaurant Association doesn’t totally agree with the findings.

They point out that often times restaurants “over estimate” the number of calories in a dish.

The most startling discrepancy? The chips and salsa at “On The Border Mexican Grill”.

1,000 calories over the advertised amount

Next summer, the federal health care bill requires restaurants with at least 20 locations to post calories right on the menu or menu board.

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