‘Xtreme Eating' Awards 2016: 9 Restaurant Dishes Deemed Worst of the Worst

Nine menu items were damaging enough to be given 2016's "Xtreme Eating" awards

The Center for Science in the Public Interest unveiled the winners of its annual “xtreme eating” awards, singling out the most damaging menu items you can find for health-conscious diners eating out at chain restaurants. 

Nine menu items made the list of the all-time worst things to order when watching your waistline. The “winner” managed to rake in a day’s worth of calories, three days’ worth of saturated fat and six days of sodium in just a single meal. 

“Unfortunately, these extreme meals are more like the rule, not the exception,” said CSPI dietitian Lindsay Moyer. “America’s restaurant chains are serving up meals that seem engineered to promote diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and strokes. The 3,000-calorie burger platters of today make McDonald’s Quarter Pounders look like sliders.” 

The study points to the growing trend of “combo” dishes that can multiply the fat and calorie count by fusing together layers of unhealthy options into one single serving. CSPI says there are ways to order smart when eating at big chain restaurants. Tips include ordering from a “light” menu if available, skipping the appetizers, swapping out grilled chicken or veggies for beef, removing buns and bringing home half of your portion for the following day. 

These were the nine orders that were bad enough to be “Xtreme Eating 2016” award recipients: 

Uno Pizzeria & Grill - Whole Hog Burger

Hamburger, sausage, bacon, prosciutto, pepperoni, four types of cheese, garlic mayo, and pickles with fries and onion rings.

Calories: 2,850

Saturated Fat: 62 g (3 day’s worth)

Sodium: 9,790 mg (6 day’s worth)

Equivalent to eating: Four McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese and two medium French fries, doused with 18 packets of salt.

Cheesecake Factory - Fried Chicken & Waffles Benedict

Belgian waffle topped with fried chicken, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce with maple-butter syrup and a side of breakfast potatoes

Calories: 2,580

Saturated Fat: 86 g (4 day’s worth)

Sodium: 3,390 mg (2 day’s worth)

Sugar: 15 teaspoons (day’s worth)

Equivalent to eating: Two Marie Callender’s one-pound Chicken Pot Pies topped with half a stick of butter and a quarter cup of maple syrup.

Dave & Buster’s - Short Rib & Cheesy Mac Stack

Sandwich stuffed with beef short rib and macaroni and cheese, served with “crispy seasoned tots.”

Calories: 1,910

Saturated Fat: 42 g (2 day’s worth)

Sodium: 3,390 mg

Equivalent to eating: Three McDonald’s Big Macs and a medium fries

Buffalo Wild Wings - Dessert Nachos

Fried flour tortilla with four scoops of ice cream, sugar and “gooey breaded cheesecake bites” topped with chocolate and caramel sauce.

Calories: 2,100

Saturated Fat: 64 g (+5 g of trans fat)

Equivalent to eating: Four Taco Bell beef and cheese Crunchy Tacos topped with a 14-ounce container of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and two melted Hershey’s milk chocolate bars

Jersey Mike’s Subs - Giant Chipotle Cheese Steak

Grilled steak on 14-inch white-flour roll with melted white American cheese, peppers and onions, drizzled with spicy chipotle mayo

Calories: 1,850

Saturated Fat: 30 g

Sodium: 4,330 mg

Equivalent to eating: Two Subway foot-long roast beef submarines

Romano’s Macaroni Grill - Cremini Pork Shank

Braised pork shank, marsala wine sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted parmesan potatoes

Calories: 1,800

Saturated Fat: 43g

Sodium: 3,700 mg

Equivalent to eating: Two Outback Steakhouse 10 oz. Ribeye Steaks and two sides of seasoned French fries

If eaten with complimentary Rosemary Peasant Bread (additional 480 calories), meal is equivalent to eating: Two Chipotle Carnitas Burritos with pork, rice, beans, sour cream, cheese and salsa

Applebee’s - Build Your Sampler

Selection of two to five menu appetizers or bar snacks

Calories: 3,390 calories (1,700 calories per person split between 2 or 850 calories per person split between 4)

Saturated Fat: 65 g

Sodium: 11,650 mg

5 choices selected:

- Cheeseburger Egg Rolls (630 calories)

- Brew Pub Pretzels & Beer Cheese Dip (510 calories)

- Chicken Quesadilla (610 calories)

- Boneless Wings with Classic Buffalo Sauce (440 calories + 240 calories bleu cheese dressing)

- Spinach & Artichoke Dip (960 calories)

Equivalent of eating: If split FOUR ways, one serving is equivalent of polishing off an Applebee’s Classic Burger with cheddar cheese (before you even get to the entrée!)

Maggiano’s Little Italy - Marco’s Meal for Two

White flour rolls, choice of appetizer or flatbread, two side salads, two pasta dishes and dessert

Choices include:

- Appetizer: Mozzarella Marinara (1,530 calories)

- Dish 1: Taylor Street Baked Ziti (1,400 calories)

- Dish 2: Fettucini Alfredo (1,560 calories)

- Dessert: Warm Apple Crostada (1,180 calories)

Calories: 2,840 per person

Saturated Fat: 79 g per person

Sodium: 6,390 mg per person

Sugar: 11 teaspoons from Crostada alone

Sonic - RT 44 Grape Slush with Rainbow Candy

Icy slush made with “sippable candy”

Calories: 970

Sugar: 1 1/4 cup

Equivalent to eating: Two Marie Callender’s one-pound Chicken Pot Pies topped with half a stick of butter and a quarter cup of maple syrup.

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