Calorie Underestimation When Buying High-Calorie Beverages in Fast-Food Contexts

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We asked 1877 adults and 1178 adolescents visiting 89 fast-food restaurants in New England in 2010 and 2011 to estimate calories purchased. Calorie underestimation was greater among those purchasing a high-calorie beverage than among those who did not (adults: 324 ±698 vs 102 ±591 calories; adolescents: 360 ±602 vs 198 ±509 calories). This difference remained significant for adults but not adolescents after adjusting for total calories purchased. Purchasing high-calorie beverages may uniquely contribute to calorie underestimation among adults.

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