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What not to eat? One magazine's answer: Tradition.

Smith Island Cake was named one of the country's 50 most unhealthful foods. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

We get a lot of less-than-scintillating news releases. But this one caught my eye: Maryland's Smith Island Cake had been named one of Health Magazine's 50 Fattiest Foods.

Really? According to our recent recipe, a slice has 545 calories and 26 grams of fat. It's a lot. But come on: It's cake! What did you expect? Many of the magazine's other villains are just as ridiculous. New Hampshire gets a smack on the wrist for New England clam chowder. Virginia gets called out for -- wait for it! -- ham.

Are these really the kinds of foods that magazines should be picking on? The worst foods are usually at chain restaurants, which are in most every state. What about the California Pizza Kitchen Tostada Pizza With Grilled Steak, which is the equivalent of eating a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza topped with six Taco Bell Crunchy Beef Tacos? Or P.F. Chang's Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo with 1,820 calories and 7,690 milligrams of sodium – about three teaspoons of salt or five times the recommended daily intake. (Indeed, clearly out of ideas, the magazine blames Missouri for Hardee's 2/3 Monster Thick Burger.)

My take: If you are using lists like these to make decisions about what to eat, you are already in trouble.

-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  June 30, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  On Our Radar  | Tags: Jane Black, On Our Radar, nutrition  
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The Health Mag article (actually its more of a slideshow) was obviously written in 10 minutes based only on a brief google search. If this is an example of their journalistic standards, one would do better getting one's health information from a crack dealer in a back alley.

Posted by: tdowdy13 | June 30, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I do love Smith Island Cake. Totally worth it. It's not like it's inexpensive enough that you can eat it everyday, it's too rich too eat too much at once and as long as you don't spend the rest of the day eating crap, it's fine.

Bah. C'mon intarwebs, tell me something useful. Concur with tdowdy13. Crack dealers are usually pretty skinny. They've clearly got the right dieting idea.

Posted by: capecodner424 | June 30, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

And one post below this is the title "Rate of adult obesity climbs in 28 states". The article might be over the top but Houston - there is a problem here! And it ain't just CPK Tostada Pizzas with steak. Your criticism of the article smacks of wanting your cake and eating it too!

Posted by: rockstone | June 30, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Looking through that list made me hungry. Most of those items are hopefully only "once in a life-time, I have the chance to try it so I am going to" indulgences. And with the quantity of most, its pretty much a given that you can't eat the whole thing anyway. Finally, being from Philadelphia, I'd really like to challenge our Cheesesteak representing PA when Pittsburgh has the Primanti Bros. sandwich. Maybe the article is actually a joke?

Posted by: NewB45 | June 30, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Alright, so I'm coming to Baltimore next month. Where can I enjoy this "Smith Island Cake"?

Or rather, where is the best place to enjoy this cake?

Posted by: BigGreenFrank | June 30, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Delaware and not once did I ever have the deep-fried pastry they tout as the state's bad food. It could be more of a beach-area thing, but it seems like they are reaching to fill up the article.

Posted by: sbainum | June 30, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a native of Ohio, and I'm surprised at their choice of a food that can be purchased all over the country at a chain restaurant rather than any of the Ohio "delicacies" like Cincinnati Chili, Buckeyes candies, or deep-fried veggies. For all of the states where the "bad food" is at a chain restaurant, I say shame on Health Magazine - that just smacks of lazy reporting.

Posted by: cewelsh | July 1, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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