Chain restaurants not alone in mega-calorie meals

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Multi-city study finds non-chain restaurants average 1,200 calories a meal. (WPVI)

Fast food and chain restaurants have gotten most of the blame for mega-calorie meals.

But a new multi-city survey shows calories add up in non-chain restaurants, too.

Researchers measured portion sizes and calories for the most popular dinner entrees and side dishes at both chain and non-chain restaurants.

They expected to find high calories at the chain and fast food eateries.

But they also found that non-chain restaurants averaged 1,200 calories a meal - that's about the same as the chain eateries.

And it's about half the total daily count for the average woman.

In the study, reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, scientists said smaller portions didn't necessarily mean smaller calorie amounts.

In December, chain restaurants will have to post calorie counts. But non-chain restaurants won't.

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