This Year's Craziest Restaurant Meal: 3.5K Calories
Watchdog group lists diet-annihilating dishes from US chains
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2014 9:33 AM CDT
The Cheesecake Factory's Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake made the CSPI's "worst foods" list, with 1,500 calories per slice.   (Photo: Business Wire)
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(Newser) – Nearly 3,550 calories for a burger, fries, and shake sounds about right—if it's one of the meals called out on a watchdog group's annual list of fatty, sugary, calorie-heavy foods served at US chain restaurants. The Center for Science in the Public Interest pored over nutritional data for food served at more than 200 chain eateries in a quest for "the worst items that we can find," a CSPI registered dietitian tells the Chicago Tribune. This year's "Xtreme Eating Awards" winner? The aforementioned 3,540-calorie meal of a "Monster-sized A1 Peppercorn" burger at Red Robin, served alongside "bottomless steak fries" and a "Monster Salted Caramel Milkshake."

Also "honored" were the Cheesecake Factory's bruléed French toast (2,780 calories), Famous Dave's "big slab" of St. Louis-style ribs (2,770), and a fried seafood feast called the "The Big 'Hook' Up" at Joe's Crab Shack (3,280). And even if you don't order any of the items that made the list, "you can expect about 1,000 calories in any typical appetizer, 1,000 calories in a typical entrée, and 1,000 calories in a typical dessert" when eating out, the dietitian says. The USDA recommends that people ingest no more than 10% of their daily calories from saturated fatty acids, which means the meals on the institute's list also contain "at least a day's worth of saturated fat," notes the Tribune. (Click for the full list, or check out which meals "won" last year.)