Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Extreme Eating

Every year the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) publishes a list of most extreme over-indulgent restaurant foods.  This year's list just came out yesterday and you can read it here.  As always, CSPI opens our eyes to even more high calorie, high salt and high fat gut busters from some of the nations most popular restaurants.

Each year they do this I am surprised by how truly "extreme" some of these meals are.  One item that shocked me were the burgers from Five Guys.  According to the article, the hamburger,"...700 calories (with no toppings) makes a Big Mac (540 calories) or a Quarter Pounder (410 calories) look like kids food. And the McDonald’s numbers include the burgers’ fixin’s. A Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger has 920 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat (1½ days’ worth) without toppings. Think two Quarter Pounders."  It's not just the burger that was shocking but the fact a large fries will add an extra 1460 calories was just draw jopping.  

The other standout is the Double Pan Fried Noodle Combo from P.F. Chang's.  Sure the 1820 calorie dish is extreme but the most disgusting part is that the dish has 7690 gm of sodium.  Seriously?  Come on, that's nearly 3x the amount recommended for a healthy adult. 

Since reading and writing about The End of Overeating, I continue to think differently about eating out.  These foods have an affect on us.  We crave them and even though we are repulsed when we find out whats in them, they are on the menu for one simple reason, they sell!  Take the Double Down from KFC for example, we laugh about how gross it is but KFC just decided this week to continue selling the item because the demand was there.

CSPI's article is another reminder about how challenging eating out can be.  I'm sure they did not have a hard time finding "extreme" meals.  I bet the real problem was cutting down the choices to just nine that were described in the article.  We love the sensationalism of "extreme" eating but it's what we do with the information that is important.  We vote with our pocket books and if we stop buying 1800 calorie entrees the restaurants will stop selling them.  Menu labeling in restaurats is coming soon and let's hope that will help us make healthier choices rather than enjoying the shock of seeing something that is 1800 calories on the menu. 

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen the nutrition facts for Claim Jumper? I wanted to frame the menu, it was so unbelievable. The Beef Back Ribs: 4301 calories! 156 g saturated fat!!! 7623 mg sodium!
    There was hardly an item that was less than 2000 calories. I was so speechless, I kept telling the waiter I needed more time before I could order. Twenty minutes later, I finally ordered a cup of soup. I’m so thankful that the nutrition facts were available on the menu, otherwise I would have unknowingly consumed way over 1000 calories at just one meal!