Shocking Study Says Some Fast Food Chains Inaccurately Report Calories By Up To 30%

Study Reveals Errors In Fast Food Calorie CountsGetty

If you've ever been taken aback by the amount of calories in fast food menu items, then you might want to take a seat for this news. According to a recent investigation by BBC Morning Live’s Briony May Williams, the calories restaurants list could be underreported by as much as 30 percent.

The BBC recruited the help of Dr. Nazanin Zand, Professor in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Greenwich, and her colleague, Dr. Elena Lopez. Dr. Lopez used a special kit to analyze the calories in meals from the UK's most popular fast food chains. The specific menu items tested were McDonald's bacon double cheeseburger (495 calories), Greggs' sausage, bean, and cheese melt (454 calories), and KFC's Zinger supercharger tower burger (650 calories).

The kit used in the study uncovered that all three menu items had a higher calorie count than what was reported by the chain. The McDonald's bacon double cheeseburger had the largest gap, with a calorie count that was 31% higher than advertised.

McDonald's issued a response to the BBC, stating that the order may have been prepared incorrectly. "McDonald's told us it thinks our order was prepared incorrectly in the burger, which was over 30% higher in calories," said BBC host Gabby Roslin, according to Yahoo News. "It said it is disappointed that on this occasion it appears to have fallen short of its high standards. And the restaurant has been reminded of the correct procedures."

Additionally, registered dietician Claire Thornton Wood revealed to BBC that discrepancies in the amount of calories could be attributed to something as small as human error.

"A burger will be the same wage as the next burger, but it might have come from a slightly different part of the animal, which is slightly more fatty," Wood explained. "The other thing is human error. They might do 20 fries or they might do 25, they're not counting them so there will always be a little bit of variation. And the same thing goes for sauce, and sauce is quite high in fat."

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