Thanksgiving Day: Really 4,500 Calories?
One reporter puts it to the test
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2012 5:10 PM CST
Thanksgiving dinner: fattening, but not actually 4,500 calories.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – So, you've heard that Americans typically wolf down more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day? That's what the Calorie Control Council says, but Tara Parker-Pope at the New York Times was skeptical. So she cooked up a highly indulgent Thanksgiving meal, including 6 ounces of turkey with crispy skin (299 calories), sausage stuffing (310), and a well-buttered dinner roll (310). Then came a fattening sweet-potato casserole (300), mashed with gravy and butter (140), and a few greens and cranberry sauce (208).

Dessert was killer, naturally, with pumpkin pie (316), pecan pie (503), and whipped cream (100). But that came to just 2,486 calories. Sure, wine and a hefty breakfast could fill in the rest, but stomach size and nausea would make that a toughy. So the 4,500-count may well be an exaggeration that "diet food companies would like us to believe," writes Parker-Pope. But make no mistake: Your heart and gall bladder will still suffer from indulgent eating. Click for Parker-Pope's full blog.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
BrushMan
Nov 19, 2012 10:58 AM CST
In this starving world, how many thanksgiving calories get sent out to the garbage?
Amarra
Nov 19, 2012 5:36 AM CST
It's Thanksgiving! Bring on the calories. Have a happy and safe and deliciously unhealthy one, Newser.
YetAnotherCollegeKid
Nov 19, 2012 2:28 AM CST
Eating on Thanksgiving is a marathon, not a sprint. I plan ahead and don't eat after noon of the previous day. Then the day itself is basically one long meal with occasional peak times. And I don't feel a single second of guilt or shame, or much of anything, really, once the dopamine kicks in. Thanksgiving is the only day out of 365 that has food as the primary event. It would be a travesty to hold back. The only way you don't eat more than 4500 calories over that 16 hour period is if you are actively trying to... assuming you have access to unlimited food, of course.