Jayne Hurley and Bonnie Liebman of the Center for Science in the Public Interest note it's not easy to win top "honors" in the category of "Xtreme Eating." But never fear: The winners of their "Worst Chain Restaurant Meals of the Year" "have what it takes," they write: "a total disregard for the obesity epidemic and the coming diabetes tsunami."
To wit, the top three:
- Red Lobster nabs the top spot with its "Create Your Own Combination" dinner, combining three shrimp dishes, fries, a Caesar salad, and a Cheddar Bay Biscuit for a gut-expanding total of 2,710 calories and 37 grams (two days' worth) of saturated fat. Or, if you need another chain comparison for context, Hurley and Liebman say "it’s like eating an 8-piece bucket of KFC Original Recipe chicken with four sides of mashed potatoes with gravy, four pieces of corn on the cob, and eight packets of 'buttery spread.'"
- Not far behind: Steak 'n Shake's 7x7 Steakburger 'n Fries, which, as the name suggests, is seven of the restaurant's signature Steakburgers smushed together with seven slices of American cheese. Add a small order of fries and a chocolate fudge brownie milkshake and you're talking 2,530 calories and 68 grams of saturated fat. It's only available (probably for good reason) on the restaurant's "Up All Night" menu, served between midnight and 6am.
- Any dish featuring more than two meats is probably going to rank poorly, and that's exactly what put Dickey's Barbecue Pit into third place. Its 3 Meat Plate (for those who "can't decide") boasted Polish sausage, pork ribs, and beef brisket for the report's testers, as well as fried onion "tanglers," mac and cheese, some Southern-style sweet tea, and a half-cup of ice cream (free for anyone waiting while their meal is prepared), and came in at 2,500 calories and 49 grams of saturated fat.
Check out Business Insider for a quick recap (or the complete, gluttonous list from the center) of more dishes that made the top nine. (Read more unhealthy stories.)