Each year, the Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) releases its list of Xtreme Eating Awards winners. It’s no doubt one of the most poorly named “awards” out there, because while Xtreme Eating sound xtremely awesome, the CSPI list is intended to spotlight restaurant dishes that may shorten your life expectancy. Each entrant on the list contains “1,500 to 2,300 calories and at least a day’s worth of sugar, salt, or saturated fat.” Let’s welcome this year’s winners!
Topping the list is the Meryl Streep of Xtreme Eating Awards: The Cheesecake Factory, with its 2,040-calorie Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. Calorically equivalent to 11 Krispy Kreme doughnuts, this breakfast of champions also packs in two and a half days’ worth of saturated fat (51 grams).
“Pancakes with syrup or cheeseburgers are never a health food, but it seems like The Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, and other chains are trying to outdo each other to make them worse,” CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer says in the list’s announcement.
Needless to say, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes sound wonderful.
Next up! Sonic’s Oreo Peanut Butter Master Shake, a blended ice cream, peanut butter, and Oreo milkshake topped with whipped cream. CSPI notes the large size—a full quart—has 1,720 calories and is the equivalent of eating “15 Oreos blended with half a cup of lard.” We look forward to seeing that Oreo-Lard Shake on Sonic’s menu shortly.
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Perhaps the most surprising entrant on the list this year is 16-inch Jimmy John’s Giant Gargantuan sandwich filled with salami, capicola, turkey, roast beef, ham, provolone cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and oil & vinegar. While Giant Gargantuan doesn’t sound subtle by any means, it’s still strangely impressive to know it’s the caloric equivalent of eating three Subway footlong Cold Cut Combos.
Give the full list a look: Chili’s Boss Burger! Dave & Buster’s Chicken and Waffle Sliders! Topgolf’s Injectable Donut Holes! (Inject those directly into…my arteries?) I know the list is intended to be a scary revelation about precisely how gluttonous and unnecessary some restaurant food is, but I read it more as a list of modern engineering marvels. How, exactly, does Topgolf fit the equivalent of four Burger King Double Cheeseburgers and a large Coke into an order of doughnuts? The mind boggles.