Dining out as part of a group can have a trickle-down effect, so if some people in the group order healthy meals, everyone else is more likely to do the same, says nutritionist Karen Ansel, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Ansel says it also helps to study menus in advance and decide what to order, to choose to dine with people who have healthy eating habits and to avoid ordering family-style meals.

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