Jan 16, 2013

2013 XTreme Eating Awards

It is finally time for my favorite (or least favorite, this is a love-hate relationship) awards show. The Center for Science in the Public Interest just published its seventh-annual XTreme Eating Awards.

The winners (really, the losers) just keep getting better (or worse).

The Cheesecake Factory once again topped the charts with its  Bistro Shrimp Pasta. The pasta dish tips the scale at a whopping 3,120 calories and 89 grams of saturated fat.

Cheesecake Factory Bistro Shrimp Pasta, from CNNHealth.
The Cheesecake Factory seems to be on an endless quest to keep the XTreme Eating Awards title. Just two years ago, the Cheesecake Factory took Xtreme Eating gold with its Farmhouse Cheeseburger. The burger packed 1530 calories and 36 grams of saturated fat. But compared to the Bistro Shrimp Pasta, the Farmhouse Cheeseburger seems like diet food. Just how far will the Cheesecake Factory go to remain the most unhealthy restaurant in the United States?

What is surprising about the Bistro Shrimp Pasta is that by simply looking at the menu, it actually seems somewhat healthy. The menu describes the dish as:
Crispy Battered Shrimp, Fresh Mushrooms, Tomato and Arugula Tossed with Spaghettini and a Basil-Garlic-Lemon Cream Sauce.
Yes, the meal actually contains real vegetables, fruits, and herbs: tomato, argula, basil, and lemon. Do not let this fool youThe Cheesecake Factory starts with 3 and 1/2 cups of white pasta (normal serving size is one cup), then tops it with a butter-laden cream sauce and 8 or 10 battered, fried shrimp. The few vegetables mixed into this monstorous entree have little redeeming value.

Johnny Rockets's, IHOP, Smoothie King, Maggiano's Little Italy, Chili's and Uno Chicago Grill also took XTreme Eating Awards. All the winners contain over 1400 calories.

Michael F. Jacobsen, the Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, commented,
It's as if IHOP, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Little Italy, and other major restaurant chains are scientifically engineering these extreme meals with the express purpose of promoting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease...You'd think that the size of their profits depended on their increasing the size of your pants.
I tend to agree. What do you think? 

Read more from The Center for Science in the Public InterestThe Huffington Post, and WebMD.

-The Green Jalapeño


  1. To be fair, The Cheesecake Factory rolled out a "skinnylicious" menu after the last XTreme Eating Awards. The menu has entrees with under 590 calories. However, the fat and sodium content of the skinnlicious selections is unknown because The Cheesecake Factory usually keeps their nutrition information secret (convenient, don't you think?).

    I have never been to Maggiano's (after this, I probably will never go...), and have never been that impressed with IHOP.