Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
To avoid gaining weight, health experts have been telling us for years to simply eat in moderation.
Now, an annual study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food watchdog group, says some of America’s favorite restaurant chains aren’t getting the message.
The group has identified menu items that it calls “nutritional nightmares” — packed with calories, fat, sodium and sugar.
The Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, IHOP top 2017 Xtreme Eating Awards
“Leave it to America’s chain restaurant industry to market a stack of pancakes as a side dish, or to lard up quesadillas and pasta with pizza toppings, or to ruin a perfectly good sweet potato,” said CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer. “These meals are extreme, but even the typical dishes served at restaurants are a threat to Americans’ health because they increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more.”
Restaurants argue that customers often share these high-calorie meals and healthier options do exist on the menu.
For someone on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, a day’s worth of sodium is 2,300 milligrams, a day’s worth of saturated fat is 20 grams and a day’s worth of added sugar is 50 grams, CSPI noted.
Keep that in mind as you review the “winners” of the 2017 Xtreme Eating Awards…
Chili’s: Ultimate Smokehouse Combo
- Calories: 2,440
- Saturated fat: 41 g
- Sodium: 7,610 mg
IHOP: Cheeseburger Omelette with Pancakes, Butter and Syrup
- Calories: 1,990
- Saturated fat: 45 g
- Sodium: 4,580 mg
- Added sugar: 44 g*
- Cholesterol: 1,005 mg
The Cheesecake Factory: Pasta Napoletana
- Calories: 2,310
- Saturated fat: 79 g
- Sodium: 4,370 mg
Buffalo Wild Wings: Cheese Curd Bacon Burger with Fries
- Calories: 1,950
- Saturated fat: 53 g
- Sodium: 4,700 mg
Dave & Buster’s: Carnivore Pizzadilla
- Calories: 1,970
- Saturated fat: 67 g
- Sodium: 4,440 mg
Texas Roadhouse: Prime Rib, Loaded Sweet Potato and Caesar Salad
- Calories: 2,820
- Saturated fat: 72 g
- Sodium: 5,330 mg
- Added sugar: 51 g*
The Cheesecake Factory: Flying Gorilla
- Calories: 950
- Saturated fat: 26 g
- Added sugar: 60 g*
Uno Pizzeria & Grill: Ridiculously Awesome, Insanely Large Chocolate Cake
- Calories: 1,740
- Saturated fat: 32 g
- Sodium: 770 mg
- Added sugar: 168 g*
Read more: These 35 hotel chains offer free breakfast
The total number of calories a person needs every day will vary depending on an individual’s age, sex, height, weight and level of physical activity, according to the latest government dietary guidelines.
For a personalized nutrition and activity plan, free online tools like the USDA’s SuperTracker can help.