Dietary experts say people often eat more than a full day’s worth of calories in one gravy-laden feast on Thanksgiving Day since overeating is as much a part of the holiday as the turkey.
Vanderbilt University registered dietitian Jamie Pope agrees saying, “I think people would be frowned upon if they were, quote, ‘dieting’ on Thanksgiving. It’s kind of a socially acceptable day to indulge.”
According to the Calorie Control Council, the industry group for diet food companies, people consume an average of 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day: 3,000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal plus another 1,500 on snacks and drinks. Meanwhile, 45 percent of that total allegedly comes directly from fat.
“The average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter,” the Calorie Control Council said in a statement.
Yet, many have contested the 4,500-calorie figure in recent years, including New York Times health reporter Tara Parker-Pope. In 2012, Parker-Pope tried to come up with the most calorie-laden Thanksgiving dinner she could muster, but only wound up with 2,486 calories.
She concluded the Calorie Control Council’s number was a myth.
The Calorie Control Council did not respond to requests for comment.