Where eating is an extreme sport
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
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