A new study has found that Americans are absolutely terrible— I mean way, way off— when it comes to estimating how many calories are in their fast "food" meals. It's probably better that way.
Though we as a nation are excellent at finding fast food establishments, navigating fast food parking lots in our cars, gazing slack-jawed at fast food menus, selecting which grease-infused and cheez-topped animal byproducts we'd like to order, and, especially, eating, our expertise does not extend to guessing how much closer to diabetes, obesity, and death our meal has just brought us. USA Today reports on a new study out of Harvard Medical School, which found that "Teens underestimated the calories in fast-food meals by 34%; parents of school-age children by 23%; adults by 20%."
Additionally, "One-fourth of participants underestimated the calories in their meals by at least 500 calories."
In their defense, after your second Quarter Pounder With Cheese, it tends to get harder and harder to remember how many you eventually ate before the blackout.
Calorie consumption at fast food restaurants now stands as the only category in which Americans don't overestimate themselves.