Healthy options still scarce at many restaurants.
Despite highly publicized claims that restaurant menus are becoming healthier, the average calorie and sodium levels in restaurant meals have remained the same, according to a study published online Oct. 3, 2013 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. At 213 major U.S. restaurant chains, researchers analyzed nutritional changes made in more than 26,000 entrees during a one-year period. Overall, there was no significant change from one year to the next: Entrees remained high in calories (average 670) and sodium (average 1,500 milligrams). Some restaurants did decrease the calorie and sodium counts in their menus, but other restaurants' offerings actually increased in calories and sodium.