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Your calorie-packed date night: By the numbers
Woe is a dieter out on the town
 
Look delicious? It also might be nearly two days worth of calories.
Look delicious? It also might be nearly two days worth of calories. Thinkstock

Calorie counters may actually be better off at McDonald's than a sit-down restaurant, according to a new study from Tufts University. 

It turns out, according to an analysis of the nutritional information of 157 meals from 33 independent, non-chain restaurants in the Boston area, that non-chain restaurants pack dinner plates with way too many calories. And you probably don't even know it. While McDonald's lists calorie counts on its menus, fancier sit-down restaurants are rarely as transparent.

Here, a roundup of some scary, appetite-suppressing numbers.

881
Calories in the average fast food meal

1,327
Calories in the average sit-down restaurant dinner or lunch (with sides), which is…

66
Percent of the average daily 2,000-calorie intake recommended by the Food and Drug Administration for a healthy adult

8
Percent of the meals analyzed that exceeded 2,000 calories. Some of the worst offenders included...

3,500
Calories found in restaurants' "rack of ribs," which, when presented with all the trimmings, carried between 1,850 and 3,500 calories

3,000
Calories — at the high end — in the Indian dish tandoori chicken (at the low end, it was around 1,200 calories)

1,755
Calories found in the average Italian meal

1,494
Calories found in the average American meal

1,474
Calories found in the average Chinese meal

500-600
Per-meal calories recommended by the FDA

60
Percent of Americans considered overweight or obese

Sources: ABC News, Daily News, Fox NewsJAMA Internal Medicine

 
Lauren Hansen is the multimedia editor at TheWeek.com. A graduate of Kenyon College and Northwestern University, she started her career in arts publishing and has since worked at media outlets including the BBC and Frontline.

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