Eating to the Xtreme


It’s that time again. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has announced the latest winners of its Xtreme Eating Awards.

I always love this feature because it fascinates me that people would actually order this stuff off the menu. Or that people sit around and think this stuff up. I mean we are talking about entrees that tip the nutritional scale at 2,000 calories.

I haven’t heard of half of these restaurants (hopefully they’ll never come to Maine), but I have heard of The Cheesecake Factory, which never fails to appear on the list.

This year’s entree? Louisiana Chicken Pasta, which has 2,370 calories, 80 grams of fat (four days worth) and 2,370 milligrams of sodium (1.5 day’s worth). By comparison, that’s equivalent to two orders of fettuccine Alfredo plus breadsticks at Olive Garden, according to the article.

The meal itself actually weighs 1.5 pounds! If you eat 1.5 pounds of food, do you step (waddle? roll?) away from the table 1.5 pounds heavier? (no, you don’t).

I won’t lie: it looks tasty in a horrifying, I can’t look away kinda way.

What doesn’t look good? The 7X7 Steakburger ‘n Fries at Steak ‘n Shake. Punctuation problems aside, this dish features 7 burger patties with cheese on a bun. I can’t even wrap my mind around this concept, and certainly no one could wrap her mouth around it. The burger clocks in at 1,330 calories and 4,750 grams of sodium.

Fun fact: the burger is only available from midnight to 6 a.m.—for the stoned, the drunk and the damned, presumably.

It doesn’t matter that obesity is (still!) exploding in this country or that Type 2 diabetes threatens to bankrupt the medical system.

Despite all the healthy school lunch initiatives implemented by Michelle Obama or community gardens and farm-to-table dining that has become popular around the country, chain restaurants seem determined to march in the opposite direction.

I don’t want plates piled with so much it overwhelms me. Give me small (and less pricey) plate choices, I beg you!

Check back next week for the flip side of our overabundant plates.

Gotta run! I need to renew my membership to CSPI.