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Just as in the United States, kids in Australia eat a lot of fast food - one recent study estimates that 25% of school children in Australia eat fast food at least once a week, with that number increasing to 43% in adolescents. That's actually lower than in the United States, where about 30% of high school age kids eat fast food more than three times a week.

Chain Restaurant Madness
I have laid a lot at the feet of the fast food industry as far as their contribution to the problem with obesity, overweight, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. I do believe that they have a tremendous responsibility to make changes that help their customers eat better. I have been critical as well of the soft drink companies, but there's an amazing issue with freestanding chain restaurants.

How to eat healthy when eating out
While having dinner with friends recently, I was asked about how to eat out. What should someone look for when choosing a meal? It's easy when you are at home and can weigh your food. When you are looking at a menu it can be tough to know whether what you are reading will come out of the kitchen as you expected.


 

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Salad Dressings

a wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with blue cheese dressing and bacon bits



This week, I had set out to write about eating healthier when you are at a restaurant salad bar and got side-tracked into the amazing world of restaurant salad dressings.

Most people who work at eating better know that the salad bar can be a terrific way to eat out, eat great food and have a healthy meal. There are a few items that can tip the scales as far as fat and calories are concerned -- especially if you're trying to watch your weight. I'll get to that part of this discussion next week but for today's column I have created a list of the Nutrition Facts for salad dressings from major chain restaurants.

I've included nutrition info that is available on the "big boys" like McDonald's and Burger King but also restaurants like Souplantation and Golden Corral who offer extensive salad bars. I am sure that there's some that I missed and maybe you have a smaller regional chain that you would like to see included in the list. If so, write me and I'll contact the restaurant and get the info. Note that some of the information isn't complete. Many restaurants simply don't report on the complete information so, as always, it's buyer (or eater) beware.

The best part of this is that the information is available on the Dr. Gourmet web site but also as a set of PDF files that you can download. These PDF files have been formatted so that they can be easily read on your Palm or other handheld computer. That way you have the info with you when you're at the restaurant. If you need to download an Adobe Acrobat Reader for your computer or your Palm, you can find that information here on the Adobe website.

First posted: May 11, 2007