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Where eating is an extreme sport


Obama orders a cheeseburger and fries on a May 2009 visit to Five Guys in Southeast Washington. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

It seems even the food-crusading Obamas aren't safe from the public-health advocates campaign to pull fatty, caloric items off chain restaurant menus. Today, the nutrition watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest tsked-tsked the first couple for patronizing Five Guys, which serves a bacon cheeseburger that contains 920 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat.

The local favorite was one of seven national chain restaurants named and shamed by CSPI for its caloric, fatty offerings. Also on the Xtreme Eating Awards list:

Bob Evans' Cinnamon Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes. 1,380 calories and 34 grams of fat – about what you'd get in two country-fried steaks and four eggs, CSPI claims. Syrup adds another 200 calories for every 4-tablespoon serving.

California Pizza Kitchen Tostada Pizza With Grilled Steak. 1,680 calories with 32 grams of saturated fat and 3,300 milligrams of sodium. The entree is the equivalent of eating a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza topped with six Taco Bell Crunchy Beef tacos.

P.F. Chang's Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo. You'd have to eat 10 egg rolls to come close to the 1,820 calories in this dish. There are also 7,690 milligrams of sodium – about three teaspoons of salt or five times the recommended daily intake.

Cheesecake Factory's Pasta Carbonara With Chicken. Toss together pasta, smoked bacon, chicken, Parmesan cream and butter sauce and what do you get? 2,500 calories and 85 grams of saturated fat, more than one person should consume in four days. That's the caloric equivalent of eating the chain's onion-ring-topped Grilled Rib-Eye Steak With French Fries plus a slice of Tiramisu Cheesecake -- only with more saturated fat.

My take: It's amazing that any restaurant needs to go these lengths to make food taste good. With just a little corporate responsibility, America could beat back the obesity crisis without even trying. On the other hand, anyone who orders these dishes knows they're getting a calorie bomb. Stacked and stuffed hotcakes? Really?

For the record, the president skipped the bacon cheeseburger in favor of a plain cheeseburger (840 calories) with jalapeño pepper, mustard and tomatoes and a regular fries (620 calories). And looking at him -- just this month, a woman in Buffalo told Obama he was a "hottie with a smoking little body?" -- he can afford to splurge once in a while.

-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  May 25, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Food labeling  | Tags: Jane Black  
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Comments

Give him a break, CSPI! Should anyone eat at Five Guys (or the other restaurants listed) every day? Of course not! But everyone likes a "sloppy" burger once in a while. I love McDonald's French fries, but I only eat them once or twice a year. That won't kill me, and an occasional Five Guys burger won't kill the President. With all of the issues he has to deal with, please don't take all of the joy out of his life!

Posted by: nycgrl | May 25, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh man, all of those sound deliiiicious...

Posted by: cidstandifer | May 25, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

This country has bigger problems than what our President is eating! He can afford to splurge every once in a while and its nice to see that he's human!

Why doesn't someone take a closer look at the AWFUL school lunches that children in DC schools are eating. I've seen students given food that I wouldn't even feed a dog! The nutritional value is non-existant!

Posted by: Iteach3 | May 25, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"an occasional Five Guys burger won't kill the President."

But smoking will...

j/k.

Posted by: BigGreenFrank | May 25, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"It's amazing that any restaurant needs to go these lengths to make food taste good."

Really?
Do we really think these dishes are that different from what's served at "foodie" hot spots?

I understand that their mass production means the likelihood of lower quality ingredients (and that's also an issue), but tell me that some of the dishes aren't just as salty at your neighborhood bistro or more to the point, the stuffed french toast from your favorite brunch place isn't going to be of similar nutritional value as the lesser version served at Bob Evans (they may use butter instead of a on their griddle, but that's a minor consolation...)

Posted by: BigGreenFrank | May 25, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

This country has bigger problems than what our President is eating! He can afford to splurge every once in a while and its nice to see that he's human!

Why doesn't someone take a closer look at the AWFUL school lunches that children in DC schools are eating. I've seen students given food that I wouldn't even feed a dog! The nutritional value is non-existant!

Posted by: Iteach3 | May 25, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Ahem:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/23/AR2010032301187.html

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/14/AR2010021404039.html&sa=X&ei=pzn9S__5J8K78gaakdG7Cw&ved=0CBgQzgQoADAA&usg=AFQjCNHffMI-6w9_01j6r6nZF6tkO2ZgYw

According to WaPo, they're working on it. Sheesh, people have no sense of patience and have put wayyyyyy too much trust in our current president. I voted for him, I believed in him, I still believe in him but don't crucify him because YOU thought he was going to be the answer to the world's problems. He's doing the best he can for a politician. You know he's a politician right? All politicians are the same regardless of their affiliation, give it a rest, if it's not one thing its another thing. Not everyone is going to be satisfied. a;ldkjakl;dje;alsdkjg; I hate living in this area, stupid politics.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | May 26, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Do as I say, not as I do" from the Obamas. I'm shocked, SHOCKED.

Posted by: gdalfonzo | May 26, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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