Eating a takeaway or a meal in a restaurant adds an average of 200 calories to a person’s daily intake as well as more cholesterol, saturated fat and salt.

That is according to a research study by professor Ruopeng An at the University of Illinois which found people who go out to eat at fast food or full-service restaurants consumed more calories than those who prepared and ate meals at home.

The study of 18,000 adults in America over an eight-year period found that eating in a restaurant was as comparable to at a fast-food outlet although meals in restaurants were generally found to have more nutrients.

“People who ate at full-service restaurants consumed significantly more cholesterol per day than people who ate at home,” An said. “This extra intake of cholesterol, about 58 milligrams per day, accounts for 20%of the recommended upper bound of total cholesterol intake of 300 milligrams per day.”