Unhealthiest meals in America could be changing

By: Erica Edwards Email
By: Erica Edwards Email

You would never walk into a restaurant and order 88 grams of fat, unless it's under the guise of a bacon cheddar double, and a big apple shake at a burger joint.

What are the unhealthiest meals and how are they rated by the Center for Science in the Public Interest Wednesday in the Just before Six Report.

Order either the bistro shrimp pasta or the crispy chicken costoletta at the Cheesecake Factory, and you'll get calories than you would need in an entire day, and that’s not all.

"They each have 4 and a half days worth of saturated fat," explains Michael Jacobson with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

That gut-busting news is from Michael Jacobson and his team at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The CSPI is handing out its annual Extreme Eating Awards to chain restaurants, based on calorie, sodium and fat content data from each restaurant. The point is to try to shock people into seeing what goes into their mouths.

"We try to take Americans by the lapels and shake them and say, you know, be careful,” says Jacobson. “If you want to eat these meals, fine, but you should know what you're getting."

You'll get more than 6,000 milligrams of salt, a four-day supply, when you order the full rack of Baby Back Ribs at Chili's. The dish comes with home-style fries and cinnamon apples.

Dietitians say there are ways to eat out and avoid gastronomic gluttony.

"Instead of starting your meal with a bread basket or fatty appetizer, choose a broth-based soup or even hot tea," explains Lisa Cimperman, RD – UH Case Medical Center.

Some studies show people who start their meals with a warm liquid consume fewer calories.

In a statement, The National Restaurant Association said it's committed to taking a proactive role in helping the restaurant industry address food and healthy living, including obesity. Even the Cheesecake Factory offers what it calls a "skinny-licious" menu.

The trick is resisting its namesake.

The National Restaurant Association was also in favor of a nutrition standard that will soon require thousands of chain restaurants nationwide to provide nutrition information at the point of purchase.

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