WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A new study by the Rand Corporation shows 96% of chain restaurants exceed USDA limits for calories, fat, and sodium.
The study showed that appetizers had the largest caloric intake averaging 813 calories compared to main entrees at 674 calories.
"Most people don't realize how many calories an appetizer packs in. Depending on appetizer you choose, you can be getting anywhere from 500-2000 calories," said Alice O'Connor, a Registered Dietician at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
A law that went into effect two years ago requires restaurants to post calories and fat on menus, but some say it's up to the person ordering to eat healthy.
"It's up to the person who is eating should monitor what they eat," said Roy Monteiro of Russell.
Restaurants that are considered family style, like Red Lobster, Denny's and Pizza Hut contain more calories, fat and sodium than fast food restaurants.
"Going out to eat is not a license to overeat. It's a good idea to when you order your meal to ask for a takeout box and immediately when you get your meal, cut it in half and put half in the takeout box to take home," said O'Connor.