Food at the Fair - Fat Festival for Calories? (cont.)

The real problem with fair and festival food, dietitians say, is mindless eating. That's what happens when you're walking and talking, and before you know it, that food on a stick has disappeared.

"It is better to find a place to sit down, enjoy the food, eat it slowly so you can recognize when you are full," says Palumbo.

But, you ask, what about all the miles you log as you walk all day at the fair or festival?

Unfortunately, it's most likely not enough to counteract the fried food calorie explosion, says Washington, D.C., weight loss expert Katherine Tallmadge, RD.

"One of my clients went to a theme park for a week with her kids, and despite logging 20,000 steps a day, she still gained 5 pounds!" she reports.

Reviewed on August 02, 2007.

SOURCES: Keith-Thomas Ayoob, EdD, RD, FADA, associate professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Christine Palumbo, MS, RD, nutrition consultant. Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, nutrition professor, Boston University. Bonnie Taub-Dix, MS, RD, spokesperson, American Dietetic Association. Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, author; nutrition consultant. Lona Sandon, MeD, RD, assistant professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Calorie King web site: ''Carnival and Fair Foods.'' State Fair Recipes web site: ''State Fair Trivia.''

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Last Editorial Review: 8/2/2007