When you’re trying to eat healthy, fast food is typically off the menu. We know it’s not great for our health, but that doesn’t stop close to 40% of Americans from eating it on any given day. While it can be cheap and convenient to hit up your favorite drive-thru, it turns out, most people are clueless when it comes to how many calories they’re consuming in those meals.

new study on the perceptions versus the reality of chain restaurant food surveyed 977 Americans to see how close they could get to the calorie counts in various fast food items.

  • For French fries, 60% underestimated the calories at 449, when the actual calories are 550.
  • Respondents guessed low for chicken salad as well, estimating it to have 374 calories, but it actually has 430.
  • People were almost spot on with milkshakes, estimating the calories to be 570 rather than the actual 580.
  • Most respondents thought fried chicken had more calories than it really does, their estimates average to 446, the real number is 330.
  • Cheesecake was the highest-calorie item included in the study, as well as the item most underestimated. While 87% of Amreicans guessed the dessert to have 421 calories, it actually has around 720.
  • Despite the fact that the FDA started requiring restaurants to post the calories of menu items in 2018, most folks don’t want to think about that, with 71% admitting they choose to ignore that calorie information.

Source: 24/7 Wall St

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