4 out of 5 Doctors Can’t Estimate Calories!

In Food Diary on November 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm


My medical instrument

4 out of 5 Doctors Can’t Estimate Calories!.

Drkay is one of my favorite bloggers.  She is a pediatrician, mom, and nearly a black belt!  Quite a combo.

This link is to a recent post about how poorly her doctor friends did counting calories.  She has another post, Calories Count, that I tweeted earlier today out of sheer joy.

Her instant personal poll of people who ought to know better agrees with lots of research about how well we do (you, me and the mailman) at estimating calories.   If you read the data, 20% accuracy is generous!

Almost all of us will dramatically underestimate the calories in food and the bigger the meal or plate/bowl it’s in, the worse we do.  Dr. Brian Wansink is my favorite source of these studies but you can find other scientists saying the same thing with a simple Google search.

So what to do?

Despair?  Give up?  Eat more McDonald’s?  No!!!

I’ve found a simple food diary can often help people start to understand their personal food downfalls.  Harvard has developed PlateMate, a crowd-sourced food estimator that “is nearly as accurate as a trained dietitian” according to their website.

Of course, a desire to change, a willingness to learn and be different is required if these techniques are going to work.  Those that don’t want to change, won’t.

Don’t be that guy/girl!

Change Your Food, Change Your Life!

  1. You are correct. However, the good news … if you are eating a healthy diet, this applies:

    If I’m hungry, I eat, and I don’t think twice about calories.

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