Xtreme Awards

August 03, 2011

If you thought the food industry was moving to provide healthier foods, think again, as the CSPI's Xtreme Eating Awards highlight the worst.

Xtreme Eating? Aren’t we working as an industry and country away from so called extreme foods and beverages? We’d all like to think so, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) just released its 2011 Xtreme Eating Awards – a bellwether on just how bad some of the foods that are being offered at restaurants really are.
So what do they say? The folks at CSPI suggest that, “With two out of three adults – and one out of three children – overweight or obese, you’d think that restaurants would have some interest in keeping their patrons alive and dining out longer. With mandatory calorie labeling on the horizon for chain restaurants, you’d think that restaurants would be dropping high calorie items from their menus. With close to 30 percent of young Americans too heavy to join the military, you’d think that restaurants would at least stop introducing new heavyweight items.”
So as the CSPI states, some of the dishonorees include:
Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger (with no toppings) makes a Big Mac (540 calories) or a Quarter Pounder (410 calories) look like kids food according to CSPI. A Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger has 920 calories and almost 30 grams of saturated fat (1½ days’ worth) without toppings.
The Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake weighs in at three quarters of a pound - 1,670 calories and 2½ days’ worth of saturated fat (48 grams)!
California Pizza Kitchen Tostada Pizza with Steak has 1,680 calories, 32 grams of saturated fat, and 3,300 mg of sodium.
P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo is 1,820 calories and delivers an off-the-charts 7,690 milligrams of sodium that is a five day supply.
Chevy’s Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla is a white flour tortilla stuffed with cheese and cream sauce and topped with guacamole and sour cream. The platter packs 1,790 calories and 63 grams of saturated fat plus 3,440 mg of sodium. 
And people wonder why we need nutrition information on menus? Luckily, this is likely to be the last year without them. For the complete list just visit cspinet.org.
It’s our duty in the food industry to provide consumers with the information they need to make a healthy decision, as well as provide healthy and tasty options. Let this be the last of the Xtreme Eating Awards.