The Worst Meals in America
You’ve heard of going to extremes. Americans today are eating to extremes.
And we have the proof: The 2018 Xtreme Eating Awards—compiled by the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI)—were announced today, and reveal that the average restaurant meal will cost you upwards 3,000 calories and a super-sized dose of sodium, fat, and sugar. The USDA recommends about a 2,600-2,800 calorie budget for moderately active men, and 1,800-2,200 for moderately active women. That means you can eat a day and a half’s worth of calories in just one sitting.
To compile their annual list, CSPI researched the menus are the nation’s most popular restaurants and crunched the nutritionals. To discover the full list of winners—we mean, losers—read on. And for more smart dining out tips, restaurants guides, and healthy swaps, subscribe to the Eat This, Not That! magazine and get 50 percent off the cover price! Read on to find out the worst meals in America.
Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito
At the top of the list is Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito. Packed with scrambled eggs, bacon, chicken chorizo, cheese, crispy potatoes, avocado, and peppers and onions with spicy ranchero sauce, sour cream, salsa, and black beans, this a.m. meal contains a whopping 2,730 calories, 73 grams of saturated fat, and 4,630 milligrams of sodium. That’s basically eating seven McDonald’s Sausage McMuffins, CSPI said in the press release.
Yard House’s Vampire Taco Combo
Stuffed with pork, bacon chorizo, chipotle cumin crema, guacamole, roasted garlic, and cilantro, this 440-calorie dish will sink its teeth into your heart, and not in a good way. The crispy cheese coating on the tortillas will deliver your ticker with LDL cholesterol-raising saturated fats on top of everything else.
AMC’s Bavarian Legend Soft Pretzel
If you thought skipping the nachos and popcorn at the movies and treating yourself to this 1.5-pound pretzel was a better choice, don’t get things twisted. The pretzel has a pound and half of blood sugar-spiking white flour. That’s more than a loaf of bread’s worth and equates to eating six Auntie Anne’s original soft pretzels, CSPI reports. The shocking amounts of sodium doesn’t help either. Yikes!
The Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Parmesan Pizza-Style
Pizza and chicken Parmesan should never go together. The Cheesecake Factory makes the list a second time with its horrendous chicken parm pizza. Chopped breaded chicken breasts are topped on a pizza pie drenched with marinara sauce, lots of cheese, and angel hair pasta in an Alfredo cream sauce. In response, the chain restaurant says, “With more than 250 menu items, the Cheesecake Factory has always been about choices. For our calorie-conscious guests, we have our SkinnyLicious menu.”
Chili’s Honey-Chipotle Crispers & Waffles
This second breakfast dish on the list includes Belgian waffles topped with bacon, jalapeno, and ancho-chile ranch with fries and a honey-chipotle sauce on the side. When you chow down this meal, you’re basically eating five Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts smothered with 30 McDonald’s chicken McNuggets, dipped with five packets of barbecue sauce. Do you feel like vomiting yet?
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Peanut Butter S’mores Pizookie
Any dish that needs to combine words to make up an actual dish is an automatic red flag. This “pizookie” includes Ghiradelli triple chocolate cookie, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and rich vanilla bean ice cream. If you must indulge, be sure to share. The entire pie is worth a container of Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream plus two cups of marshmallow fluff.
Uno Pizzeria & Grill Deep Dish Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
If you can’t decide between buffalo wings or mac and cheese, now you can have both. But it’ll cost you 2,320 calories, 137 grams of fat, 4,530 milligrams of sodium, 178 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of sugar. Sounds like you’ll be in deep, er, trouble digging into this dish as it has four days’ worth of saturated fat. In response, Uno’s said in a statement to the TODAY show, “For those looking for lighter fare, we have a smaller version at less than half the calories.”
Shake Shack’s Double SmokeShack
Then there’s Shake Shack’s Double SmokeShack burger: a double cheeseburger topped with all-natural smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper, and ShackSauce. The burger alone is 930 calories. And if you want fries with that, it’ll cost you an additional 430 calories. While you’re at it, you might want to wash it down with a peanut butter shake because YOLO, but that’s another 890 calories.