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Chain Restaurants Are Trying to Kill You

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest released the winners of their 2010 X-Treme Eating Awards, hoping to name and shame nine chain restaurant dishes with mind-bogglingly high calorie counts. Here are the offenders:

Five Guys's Bacon Cheeseburger: East Coast chain Five Guys prides itself on using zero trans fats, but who needs trans fats to be unhealthy when their Bacon Cheeseburger has 920 calories before you've even added any of their free toppings? Add a regular order of fries at 620 calories and a large Coke at 300 calories and you'll be consuming a massive 1840 calories in just one meal. It's probably for the best that they don't serve milkshakes.

The Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Tower Trouble Cake: Most of us eat dessert at the end of a meal, and usually after dinner, but if you're planning on eating an entire slice of Chocolate Tower Trouble Cake by yourself, maybe you should just skip the entire meal before it? Each slice weighs 3/4ths of a pound and has 1,670 calories; its 48 grams of saturated fat is 2 1/2 days worth what an adult should have!

California Pizza Kitchen's Tostada Pizza: "Southwestern black beans, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses topped with chilled shredded lettuce, homemade roasted tomato salsa, fresh green onions and crispy tortilla strips with our homemade herb ranch dressing" sounds pretty healthy, but the Tostada Pizza's already 1,440 calories before you add either steak or chicken. And it may not sound particularly salty either, but you'd be incredibly wrong there as it's 2,630 mg of sodium is 230 more than the USDA recommends you consume each day (and 1,030 more than the UK recommends).

The Cheesecake Factory's Pasta Carbonara with Chicken: While it's reasonable to expect pasta carbonara to be heavy, since its main ingredients are pasta, bacon and cream, one serving of it at The Cheesecake Factory is a ridiculous 2,500 calories. One serving! To be eaten by one person! In one sitting! Unless you're carbo-loading to run a marathon the next day, you shouldn't be eating this.

P.F. Chang's Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo: The 1,820 calories this deep-fried noodle dish delivers straight to your gut isn't even its craziest number. No, that's reserved for its 7,690 milligrams of sodium—that's five days worth of salt in one dish!

Outback Steakhouse's New Zealand Rack of Lamb: This dish comes with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables, which sounds great until you realize Outback has to declare the vegetables alone have 7 grams of saturated fat. What the hell do they do to those vegetables? The whole package will set your diet back 1,820 calories and 2,600 mg of sodium.

Chevys' Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla: Cheese! Cream sauce! Guacamole! Sour cream! Let's do the numbers: 1,790 calories, 63 grams of saturated fat, 3,440 mg of sodium. For just ONE quesadilla!

California Pizza Kitchen’s Pesto Cream Penne: Pesto is generally a healthy option for pasta, but common sense dictates this changes when you add cream. And so CPK's Pesto Cream Penne is 1,350 calories and 1,920 mg of sodium. We like to think of Californians as health-conscious hippies but clearly their corporate kitchens are not.

Bob Evans' Cinnamon Cream Stacked & Stuffed Hotcakes: Two pancakes stuffed with fruit and cinnamon chips, slathered with cream cheese and cinnamon cream, topped off with whipped cream, gives you 1,380 calories and the equivalent of 27 teaspoons of sugar. If you're not already diabetic, it might just make you one.

· Xtreme Eating 2010 [CSPINET via Gawker]
· Claim Jumper: The World's Unhealthiest Chain Restaurant? [-E-]
· All Chain Restaurant Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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