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Would you like a side of obesity or heart disease with that?
That’s what you may be unwittingly asking for if you eat any of the restaurant meals or desserts recently “honored” with the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) 2018 Xtreme Eating Awards.
For the annual awards, CSPI judges the nutritional content of restaurant dishes against what an adult should consume in one day. CSPI says it is reasonable for a day’s worth of food to include:
- 2,000 calories
- 2,300 milligrams of sodium
- 20 grams of saturated fat
- 50 grams of added sugar
CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer notes:
“Americans are eating out more than ever before. So, when restaurant chains are serving up 2,000 calories or more on a single plate, it’s easy to see why people continue to struggle with [being] overweight, obesity and diet-related diseases.”
The eight menu items that received Xtreme Eating Awards this year — and CSPI’s findings about the dishes — are:
1. The Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito
The restaurant describes this menu item as “a warm tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, chicken chorizo, cheese, crispy potatoes, avocado, peppers and onions, over spicy ranchero sauce.” It’s served with sour cream, salsa and black beans, too.
But CSPI calls it the “worst way to start the day.” With 2,730 calories — and more saturated fat than you should consume in three days — it’s akin to seven McDonald’s Sausage McMuffins, CSPI says.
2. Yard House’s Vampire Taco Combo
Yard House says these tacos are considered “Vampire style” because they’re wrapped in a “grilled, crispy cheese-crusted flour tortilla shell,” which lends a winged-like appearance to the shell.
The combo includes two Vampire-style tacos with rice and beans on the side. If you wash it all down with a “half yard” of India pale ale (IPA) beer, you will have consumed a 2,040-calorie meal.
3. AMC’s Legend pretzel
The movie theater chain boasts that this Bavarian-style soft pretzel weighs 1.5 pounds.
It has 1,920 calories — and more than three days’ worth of sodium.
4. The Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Parmesan ‘Pizza Style’
Imagine a chicken pizza with a scoop of Alfredo pasta in the middle. That’s basically what this dish is.
It has 1,870 calories.
5. Chili’s Honey-Chipotle Crispers & Waffles
Chili’s “Chicken Crispers” are basically battered chicken. Order this particular Crispers dish and the chicken will be served atop Belgian waffles, all drizzled with bacon and ranch sauce. A side of fries and chipotle sauce are also included.
The meal has 2,510 calories. CSPI likens it to “five Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts smothered in 30 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and five packets of barbecue sauce.”
6. BJ’s Restaurants’ Peanut Butter S’mores Pizookie
BJ’s describes this dessert as “peanut butter layered on a Ghirardelli triple chocolate cookie with marshmallow fluff and marshmallows baked to a golden finish, then topped with vanilla bean ice cream.”
It has 1,580 calories.
7. Uno’s Deep Dish Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
This cheesy chicken-topped pasta entree is baked in a deep-dish pan.
It has 2,320 calories. CSPI considers it equivalent to three orders of Olive Garden’s Cheese Ravioli.
8. Shake Shack’s Double SmokeShack with sides
The SmokeShack is a cheeseburger topped with bacon, pepper and ShackSauce, says Shake Shack.
Order the double size with a side of fries and a malted peanut butter shake, and you will have consumed 2,240 calories.
What’s the most unhealthful restaurant meal you have eaten or heard of? Let us know below or on Facebook.