Extreme Eats: 8 of America's Least Healthy Restaurant Menu Items

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Burgers aren't the only bad guys. Milkshakes, cheesecake, and giant steaks are among the worst obesity offenders, too.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest announces its Xtreme Eating Awards and describes them in detail in the latest issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

Xtreme Eating gives the numbers for calories, saturated fat, and sodium in each of the unhealthy foods it selected (nicely summarized by FoodNavigator), but let's just look at the foods themselves and the calories in each.

These, it should be evident, are substantial fractions of the 2,000 to 3,000 calories most people need in a day. And these numbers don't include the additional calories from drinks and anything else that's added.

CSPI gets sarcastic: "Let's get one thing clear: Restaurants have nothing to do with the nation's obesity epidemic. It's not their fault that two out of three adults and one out of three children are either overweight or obese."

Are the numbers accurate? My July 20 JAMA hasn't arrived yet but I hear that it has an article saying that the calorie numbers posted on restaurant menu boards seem close enough.

If an item says it's 1,500 calories, it probably is. Best to share with friends.


This post also appears on Food Politics.
Images: Courtesy of the CSPI

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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