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January 17, 2013
SAN DIEGOCenter for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) posted its list of shame for the 2013 Xtreme Eating Awards, tagging specific meals or menu items loaded with fat, calories and sodium, served up by national restaurant chains. IHOP, Johnny Rockets, Uno Chicago Grill, The Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano's Little Italy featured on the list of nine restaurants and their menu items called out by CSPI.
Highlighted menu items included a calorie-laden smoothie, country fried steak and eggs, a burger meal complete with an apple pie shake, deep dish macaroni laden with cheese and a heaping serving of breaded chicken.
"It's as if IHOP, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Little Italy, and other major restaurant chains are scientifically engineering these extreme meals with the express purpose of promoting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "You'd think that the size of their profits depended on their increasing the size of your pants."
Dietary guidelines suggest a typical adult should consumer about 2,000 calories and nor more than 20 grams of saturated fat and 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, in addition to consuming no more than six teaspoons of added sugar for women and nine teaspoons for men. Restaurant menus will soon be required to include calorie labeling, due to health care reform legislation signed into law in March 2010. FDA released draft regulations that implement calorie-labeling provisions, although those regulations are not finalized.
Following are some of the foodservice establishment and menu items listed by CSPI:
IHOP Country Fried Steak & Eggs Combo. This meal of deep-fried steak with gravy, two fried eggs, deep-fried potatoes and two buttermilk pancakes contains 1,760 calories, 23 grams of saturated fat, 3,720 mg of sodium and 11 teaspoons of added sugar.
Johnny Rockets' Bacon Cheddar Double Burger. Ordering a complete meal of this burger, sweet potato fries and the chain's Big Apple Shake, a blend of milkshake with a full slice of apple pie, adds up to 3,500 calories, 88 grams of saturated fat and 3,720 mg of sodium.
Uno Chicago Grill Deep Dish Macaroni & 3-Cheese. Blend four cups of pasta with three cheeses, an Alfredo sauce of heavy cream, rendered chicken fat and butter with a Ritz Cracker topping for a single-dish meal containing 1,980 calories, 71 grams of saturated fat and 3,110 mg sodium.
Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie. A blend of peanut butter, banana, sugar and grape juice in the large size makes for 40 ounces of beverage packed with 1,460 calories and 22 teaspoons of sugar.
The full list is available here.
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