Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, said most people wouldn't sit down to eat a 12-piece bucket of Original Recipe KFC all by themselves, but the Cheesecake Factory crams about that many calories into a single serving of its Crispy Chicken Costoletta at 2,610 calories.
To put these numbers into context, a typical adult should consume about 2,000 calories and no more than 20 grams of saturated fat and 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugars for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
Included in the latest "winners" of its Xtreme Eating Awards in the current issue of its Nutrition Action Healthletter were:
-- IHOP's Country Fried Steak & Eggs combo has 1,760 calories, 23 grams of saturated fat, 3,720 milligrams of sodium and 11 teaspoons of added sugar. It consists of deep-fried steak with gravy, two fried eggs, deep-fried potatoes and two buttermilk pancakes.
-- Johnny Rockets' Bacon Cheddar Double burger has 1,770 calories, 50 grams of saturated fat, and 2,380 milligrams of sodium. The chain's Big Apple Shake -- a milkshake that contains a slice of apple pie -- has 1,140 calories, 37 grams of saturated fat and about 13 teaspoons of added sugar. This meal delivers a total of 3,500 calories.
-- The Deep Dish Macaroni & 3-Cheese at Uno Chicago Grill has 4 cups of pasta; Cheddar, Parmesan and Romano cheeses; an Alfredo sauce made from heavy cream, cheese, rendered chicken fat and butter; and a crushed Ritz Cracker topping. It has a day's worth of calories at 1,980, three-and-a-half days' worth of saturated fat at 71 grams and two days' worth of sodium at 3,110 mg.