Economy

'Xtreme Eating Awards' highlight high-calorie restaurant items

'Xtreme Eating Awards' highlight high-calorie restaurant items

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C. -based food watchdog and consumer advocacy group, released its annual "Xtreme Eating Awards" Monday, a list they call the biggest "nutritional nightmares" in the restaurant industry.

Texas Roadhouse's 770-calorie sweet potato side was given the "most damage from a supporting vegetable award" by CSPI, which said it normally aporoves of sweet potatoes, but not when they're sweetened further with mini marshmallows and caramel sauce. (Because this is a new menu item, the nutritional value is not yet available on the company's website.) CSPI is also calling out Cheesecake Factory's Flying Gorilla cocktail, with comes with dark chocolate and banana liqueurs, along with 950 calories, 26 g. saturated fat, and 60 g. of added sugar.

Topping the list were entrees like The Cheesecake Factory's Pasta Napoletana, which the chain describes as a meat lover's pizza in pasta form. Budweiser over five scoops of Breyers Chocolate ice cream.

When a restaurant is named The Cheesecake Factory it's no surprise that many of its dishes are the opposite of light, healthy meals.

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The food proportions have grown in size over the years and this increases your calorie intake.

Sacrastically, CSPI's team of nutritionists wrote: 'Who cares about the obesity and diabetes epidemics, as long as the cash keeps rolling in to one of the nation's premier purveyors of white flour and cheese?'

The list starts by outlining a the daily nutritional allowance for healthy adults.

We should have around 2,000 calories a day, no more than 2,300mg of sodium (or, 1.25 teaspoons of salt), no more than six teaspoons of added sugar, and no more than 20g of saturated fat.

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Those guidelines seem to have little importance when it comes to meal combos in America's most popular eateries. These calories do not include the free peanuts, rolls, and butter that also come with Texas Roadhouse meals. The 12-inch pizza quesadilla hybrid with cheese, pepperoni, and Italian sausage. Diners choose three meat from a list that includes BBQ chicken breast, jalapeño-cheddar smoked sausage, battered Chicken Crispers, or a half rack of baby back ribs, plus four sides. But we doubt that anyone has piled them on a burger, tossed on cheese and two bacon strips, and drenched the whole mess with a mayo-rich "cool heat sauce".

Buffalo Wild Wings' Cheese Curd Bacon Burger and a side of fries landed CSPI's Worst Cheese in a Leading Role award. Along with a side of fries, CSPI compares the nutritional value of this one meal to five Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburgers. It is stuffed with Manchego and cheddar cheeses, pepperoni, and Italian sausage, then topped with even more pepperoni and Italian sausage, plus bacon, marinara, and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

A combo meal with as many calories as three sirloin steak dinners?

Finally, Uno Pizzeria & Grill has a dessert dubbed the Ridiculously Awesome, Insanely Large Chocolate Cake. "That's 2,000 calories", Moyer explained.

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Obesity is a growing epidemic across the country as almost a third of children are obese or overweight, and are five times more likely to be obese as adults.


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