Warning: Dining Out May Result in Extreme Eating

Extreme calories, extreme fat, extreme sodium, extreme portions…

Would you order a meal if you knew it contained more calories than you should eat all day? That’s what you’ll get if you order a Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger with a large order of fries.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), that meal contains 2,380 calories. To put that in perspective, the USDA recommends a daily caloric intake of 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day for the average person. The burger, without toppings, comes in at 920 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat. The fries contain a whopping 1,460 calories!

In contrast, a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder has 410 calories and their large fries have about one third the calories of the Five Guys’ large fries. That news flash is messing with my head. McDonalds as the lighter choice? Well, it’s all relative.

Would you believe The Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Carbonara with Chicken has 2,500 calories? Or that California Pizza Kitchen Tostada Pizza with Grilled Steak has 1,680 calories, 32 grams of saturated fat and 3,300 milligrams of sodium?

Or that P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo 1,820 calories? That same dish is said to have 7,690 milligrams of sodium — that’s about three teaspoons of salt!

P.F. Chang’s, according to CNN, says that the nutritional information for the Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo is wrong. On its website the dish is listed as having 455 calories and that the serving is intended for four people.

Many restaurants list nutritional information on their websites, but you’ve got to read carefully to understand what one single serving is. Let’s face it — we’ve loss all sense of proportion when it comes to serving size. What used to be a family-size serving platter is often considered a single serving. That doesn’t mean we have to eat it. What ever happened to moderation… or common sense, for that matter.

The CSPI announced it’s Xtreme Eating awards on nine items from seven restaurant chains: And the Envelope, Please: The 2010 Xtreme Eating Awards Go To…

Beware when you eat out. That’s the bottom line. If you’re going to be an extreme eater, you want to know in advance.

Interested in real food? Check out Care2’s new Food Channel!

Related Reading on Care2:

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Marshall Astor


Fiona T.
Past Member 5 years ago

It's easy to eat too much

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado6 years ago

Eat them and starve the rest of the day.

John S.
Past Member 6 years ago

I cannot believe anyone that knows portion size at home would not know this. Split the main course or order appetizers.

Sheri Peck
Sheri P7 years ago


Vanessa S.
Vanessa S7 years ago

Eye-opening. I knew the calories had to be high, but I would have imagined that they were that high.

Shannon H.
Shannon H7 years ago

My favourite restaurant is this cool Indian food place. The food is so flavourful and it's all healthy and vegetarian. The spices add so much taste that there is no need to cover it in crap.

People should be able to choose what they eat, but it should be an informed choice. They should know what's in their food

Morgan G.
Morgan Getham7 years ago

One of the problems with government taking responsibility for health care is that right away people start harping about how they have the right to tell other people what they can and can't eat how they have to behave, and so on.

Folks act as if we can retain our freedom and still have "the government" take care of us. It's just not so. And time we send our tax dollars to Washington and let them send (some of) them back to us, they come with strings attached ... strings that result in the nanny state telling us what to do "for our own good".

There's always the old question ... how do we warn people about the dangers of the power of government AFTER the year 1984? Looks like we don't.

Inez Deborah Altar

People must be civilized and feel what they are guzzling, I do, but am greedy in spite of being unwell, but in an evil age of evildoers with manufactured testtube degenerate infants even without their biological progenitors´ knowledge of ten representing evil and racial misogeny of elements which do not recognize themselves as degenerate and evil because for example they happen to be in the EU what does one expect?

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS7 years ago

Of course restaurant meals tend to be high-caloried. They're businesses, and it's the flavour of the foods that draw customers back. And where does consistently good flavour come from? Why from all the fats, sauces and cooking techniques that usually aren't good for us....

That's why all these artificial foods and additives have come into being. People know they shouldn't be consuming the calories, but they aren't willing to give up the wonderful flavours calorie-rich foods and processes add. To use the the old adage, we the consumers want to have our cake and be able to eat it, too.

Heidi C.
Heidi L7 years ago

Thanks for the info!