The 2017 Xtreme Eating Awards


Extreme is right!

As I read through the 2017 results of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) notables, I have to say that  nowadays it seems as though some restaurant chains are not just trying to outdo each other, they’re even trying to outdo themselves in promoting gluttony.

Each year, CSPI brings attention to various offerings at major restaurant chains that the consumer advocacy group says are “designed to add a notch to your belt and a blow to your heart.”

While some have called CSPI the nutrition police, besides bringing attention to what’s on the menu at chain eateries in an entertaining manner, this group has many accomplishments under its belt including being the force behind nutrition labelling in the U.S.

Keep in mind when you read the tallies below that they’re basing an average day’s intake on 2000 calories, 2300 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of saturated fat and 50 grams of added sugar.

I’d also like to point out that here in Ontario, the Healthy Menu Choices Act only requires calories to be listed on chain restaurant menus. While some of the numbers listed below are quite outrageous, the sodium counts (which aren’t required according to these regulations) are amongst the most astounding.

Now for the drumroll – here are just a few of the awards:

Worst Visceral Effects – Chili’s Ultimate Smokehouse Combo

“More flavor than can fit on a plate,” boasts the TV ad for Chili’s Ultimate Smokehouse Combo. Make that more food than can fit on a plate. So it’s served on a tray.”

While you can choose any three meat offerings, CSPI went with the sausage, the Crispers (with honey mustard sauce), and the Texas Dry Rub ribs. With the sides (roasted street corn, homestyle fries, chile-garlic toast, and garlic dill pickles),their combo was like downing three Chili’s sirloin steak dinners—that’s three 10 oz. sirloins topped with garlic butter, plus three orders of loaded mashed potatoes and three orders of steamed broccoli.

CSPI says to forget the tray and go for a trough instead.

Tally: 2440 calories, 7610 (!!) milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of saturated fat

Least Original Breakfast – IHOP Cheeseburger Omelette with Pancakes, Butter & Syrup

This breakfast includes eggs with hamburger patty pieces, hash browns, tomatoes, onions, American cheese, ketchup, mustard, and pickles, with a side of 3 Buttermilk Pancakes (plus butter and 2 tablespoons of syrup).

According to CSPI, it’s akin to eating four McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffins drizzled with 2 tablespoons of syrup.

Tally: 1990 calories, 4580 milligrams sodium, 45 grams saturated fat and 44 grams added sugar

Worst Adapted Pasta – The Cheesecake Factory Pasta Napoletana

This one has Italian sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, and bacon on pasta that’s  laden with both butter and cream.

Tally: 2,310 calories, 4,370 mg sodium, 79 g saturated fat

Check out the other awards including Most Damage from a Supporting Vegetable and Most Ridiculous Ending to get a taste of just how gluttonous some restaurant dishes really are.


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Categories: Nutrition News

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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