By Karin McCay| email
(KCBD) - No one expects diet food at most restaurants, but you might be shocked at just how many calories you consume at popular chains. The Center for Science in the Public Interest announced its annual list of some of the biggest offenders.
Big appetites, big food and big waistlines, the combination can cause big problems, which is why the center for science in the public interest announces extreme eating awards...the chain restaurants that serve food highest in calories, fat and sodium.
"Compared to some of the meals in restaurants, now the Big Mac looks downright dainty," says Michael Jacobson with the Center for Science in the Public Interest
On the list, P.F. Changs, double pan fried noodles that contain a five-day supply of sodium. "Uhhhhh that doesn't make me feel very good. I think my insides just hurt, just a little bit," says customer Joanna Paredes.
The Cheesecake Factory's pasta carbonara with chicken - 2500 calories, more than most people need in an entire day.
Other award winners include items from Bob Evans, and Five Guys restaurants. The Cheesecake Factory notes that it offers healthy alternatives - several meals under 600 calories. The California Pizza Kitchen says most often its pizzas are shared.
"The restaurants are not doing what is moderate. They're really practicing a very ill informed form of caloric extremism," says Jacobson. The organization says with obesity a national epidemic, chains should remove extreme items from their menus, even if they taste good.
"The noodles end up hard and crunchy. You end up soft and flabby," says Bonnie Liebman with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
A law enacted in March will require chain restaurants to disclose nutritional data but the information won't make it to menus for another few years. Until then, it's up to consumers to find out what's in that plate of pasta or towering truffle cake and decide on their own if it's worth it.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington D.C. that focuses on nutrition, food safety and pro-health alcohol practices.
The full list of the 2010 Xtreme eating awards is published in the June issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter. To read the complete list, (click here).
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