Strategies for and Barriers to Managing Weight When Eating at Restaurants
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Strategies for and Barriers to Managing Weight When Eating at Restaurants

Filetype[PDF-500.69 KB]

  • English

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      Eating in restaurants contributes to excess caloric intake, which leads to weight gain, but little is known about strategies used to manage weight or barriers to weight management in restaurant settings. We describe and compare the strategies men and women use and the barriers they encounter when eating at restaurants.


      We recruited a convenience sample of 146 adults at a university open house. Participants completed questionnaires on demographics and eating patterns, strategies used to manage weight in restaurants, and barriers to managing weight in restaurants.


      The most common strategies used by participants were avoiding sugar-filled drinks, choosing steamed vegetables and whole-grain foods, and stopping eating when full. We found few differences by sex: women were more likely to share appetizers or meals, substitute appetizers for meals, have salads as entrées, order salad dressing on the side, and bring half of the meal home.


      Women and men had more similarities than differences in strategies for and barriers to managing weight in restaurants. We need to understand what influences food choices at restaurants in order to develop comprehensive plans for weight management.

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