94% of food in restaurants contains more calories than recommended, according to research in Brazil

Publicado em 01 fevereiro 2019

Most restaurants serve food that is too large, according to a study conducted by an international research team supported by the FAPESP-São Paulo Research Foundation (Brazil).

Published in 'British Medical Journal', this study weighs and measures the energy content of the food served by restaurants in Brazil, China, Finland, Ghana and India. The results show that 94 percent of the most popular main dishes served at table restaurants and 72 percent of those purchased at fast food stores contain more than 600 kilocalories, the recommended limit to help reduce the global obesity epidemic.

The researchers found a significant correlation between food weight and energy content. They came to the conclusion that some popular foods were far bigger and more calories than needed. Examples include rice, chicken, cassava or traditional salads.

"Obesity is a global health problem caused by several factors, such as lifestyle, processed food and sugar consumption, and overeating. Many people can disrupt the desire to eat hungry. This study shows that any strategy to combat obesity must also consider this advantage", explained co-author of the article Vivian Suen.

According to research, selected restaurants and fast food are provided between 70 and 120 percent of the daily energy needed by a woman who doesn't move much, about 2,000 kcalexcept in China, where the energy content of the most popular foods is significantly lower.

The researchers measured the energy content of a representative sample of 223 popular foods purchased at 111 randomly selected restaurants and fast food restaurants located in five cities: Ribeirão Preto (Brazil), Beijing (China), Kuopio (Finland), Accra (Ghana )) and Bangalore (India).

"These findings refute two widely accepted ideas: we not only eat the wrong food, but also eat too much, and in terms of calories, eating considered healthy can often increase the body's energy balance and, therefore, add more weight than fast food, "Suen added.


Most also have an impact on the so-called compensation mechanism. "When people who are not obese eat a lot during the day, they usually feel less hungry at night and eat less for dinner, for example, but obese women don't seem to have this perception, as some studies have shown," he explained. scientific

Another problem with obesity is the body's resistance to weight loss. "There are countless diets (low carbohydrate, high protein, low fat, etc.), but what is the best way to lose weight? Nobody really knows, what is important in the long term is the total energy content in terms of calories, "he recalls.

Food quality "is also important, of course," he said. "Eating low-quality carbohydrates such as saturated fat or large amounts of sugar contributes to diseases associated with over-consumption of these products," Suen concluded.


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