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Would you ever eat nearly a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts in one sitting? Would you? Should you?
Probably not, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest says that’s the nutritional equivalent of the Cheesecake Factory’s cinnamon roll pancakes. And for those keeping score and counting calories, that’s 2,040 with a single item.
Since 2007, the nonprofit food and health watchdog CSPI has put together a list of chain restaurants’ unhealthiest meals.
In a statement, CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer, said: “Pancakes with syrup or cheeseburgers are never a health food, but it seems like The Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s and other chains are trying to outdo each other to make them worse. With a third of our calories eaten away from home, restaurant meals warp our perspective of what constitutes a normal serving, and contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.”
Among the 2019 Xtreme Eating Awards “dishonorees”:
▪ The Cheesecake Factory’s Cinnamon Roll Pancakes: CSPI said it is the equivalent of eating 11 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts in one sitting. It said the pancakes have a day’s worth of calories (2,040), two-and-a-half days’ worth of saturated fat (51 grams), more than a day’s worth of sodium (2,950 milligrams), and almost three days’ worth of added sugar.
▪ Topgolf’s Injectable Doughnut Holes: CSPI said the driving range/sports bar chain encourages its customers to use plastic syringes to inject chocolate, raspberry jelly, and/or Bavarian cream goo into each “hole,” making for a day’s worth of calories (1,970), nearly two days’ worth of saturated fat (37 grams), nearly a day’s worth of sodium (1,880 mg), and two days’ worth of added sugar.
CSPI said it’s like eating four Burger King double cheeseburgers with a large Coke.
▪ Jimmy John’s Giant Gargantuan: This 16-inch sub has salami, capicola, turkey, roast beef, ham, provolone cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and oil and vinegar for a day’s worth of calories (2,190) plus a day-and-a half’s saturated fat (29 g). It also has more than three days’ worth of sodium (7,720 mg) making it by far the saltiest of the 2019 winners.
CSPI said it has the nutritional equivalent of three Subway Cold Cut Combo footlong subs.
▪ Chili’s Grill & Bar’s The Boss Burger: CSPI said the burger was advertised as, “Five meats. One burger. 100% Boss.” With smoked brisket, rib meat, jalapeño-cheddar smoked sausage, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, CSPI said the burger plus fries has a day’s worth of calories (2,020), more than two days’ worth of saturated fat (47 g), and nearly two days’ worth of sodium (3,900 mg).
CSPI said it was like eating three McDonald’s triple cheeseburgers plus a large order of fries.
Officials with the chains on the list couldn’t be reached for comment.
The good news? Moyer said all chains with 20 or more outlets are now required to list calories on menus and menu boards, with expanded nutrition information upon request.
The full list of the eight 2019 Xtreme Eating winners includes items from Sonic, Cracker Barrel, Maggiano’s and Dave & Buster’s.