Question Sheet: Eat Out, Eat Smart


Before reading:

  1. How do you decide what kind of food you eat? 
  2. What foods are healthy? What foods are unhealthy?

During reading:

  1. Why are doctors and nutritionists recommending that restaurant menus show

    the number of calories in different dishes? 

  2. In what ways have eating habits changed since the 1970s? 
  3. Explain the following quotation from the article: “Good intentions alone don’t necessarily lead to healthier choices.” 
  4. How do restaurant meals differ from meals eaten at home? 
  5. What are transfats? 
  6. According to people who would like nutrition information on menus, why might

    the National Restaurant Association be resistant to such labeling?

After reading:

  1. Do you think people see eating a bacon double cheeseburger as dangerous? Why

    or why not? 

  2. Track your calorie intake for a whole day. How many calories were there in

    the food that you ate and drank? How could you improve your diet? See (Baylor College of

    Medicine) and

    (KidsHealth for Kids). 

  3. Why do you think meals in restaurants often have more calories than a

    typical home-cooked meal? 

  4. From the label, find the number of calories and the main ingredients in a

    frozen dinner bought at the supermarket. Estimate how many calories might be in the same meal if you or a parent prepared it from scratch at home. What might

    the frozen meal contain that wouldn’t be in the home-cooked meal? Would you cook the food differently? 

  5. Why do people overeat? How does the stomach change when someone eats too

    much? What are the health risks of eating too much? 

  6. Go to (National Restaurant

    Association). At this Web site, search for a restaurant in your area, pick one

    of the choices, and check its nutrition information. Which item on the menu has

    the most calories? Fewest calories?


Suppose that a restaurant chef has created a new dish, and she wants to keep her special recipe secret—especially the amounts and types of certain ingredients. Has she the right to keep this information private or secret? How much of it, if any, should be disclosed on the restaurant menu? Under what circumstances do you think she could be forced to provide this information?


  1. Write a one-page essay making a persuasive argument for or against the

    banning of trans fats in restaurants. See

    ( or for Science in the Public Interest). 

  2. Suppose that you were making a documentary film about fast food. Write a

    one-page summary of what you would want to show and explain in the movie.


A low-calorie donut has 40 percent fewer calories than a regular donut has. How many low-calorie donuts would you need to eat to take in as many calories as you would get from a dozen regular donuts?