The Unhealthiest Restaurant Meals in America

You might start cooking more of your meals at home after scrolling through the Center for Science in Public Interest's 2017 Xtreme Eating Awards - the Oscars for the unhealthiest menu items in the US.  Since Americans spend about 43 percent of their annual food budgets on eating out, about half of the foods they're consuming is prepared by someone else.  


With obesity at epidemic proportions, we should carefully read the nutrition labels on the food we eat at restaurants.  Some of these award winners use up our calorie total for 2 days or more, so beware.  

Worst Offenders: 

1.  Chili’s Ultimate Smokehouse Combo:

“More flavor than can fit on a plate,” boasts the TV ad for Chili’s Ultimate Smokehouse Combo. Make that more food than can fit on a plate. So it’s served on a tray.

2.  IHOP Cheeseburger Omelet with Pancakes, syrup and butter:

With a side of 3 Buttermilk Pancakes (plus butter and 2 tablespoons of syrup), it’s like eating four McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffins drizzled with 2 tablespoons of syrup.

3.  Cheesecake Factory Pasta Napoletana: 

The chef piles Italian sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, and bacon on pasta that’s been greased with butter and cream.  As it turns out, it is like eating a Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s Personal Pan long as you top the pizza with three cups of pasta and a cup of heavy cream.

4.  Buffalo Wild Wings Cheeseburger with Cheese Curds and Fries:

Battered, deep-fried cheese curds are a delicacy in Wisconsin. But we doubt that anyone has piled them on a burger, tossed on cheese and two bacon strips, and drenched the whole mess with a mayo-rich “cool heat sauce”. That is, not until Buffalo Wild Wings started serving its Cheese Curd Bacon Burger. With a side of fries, you’re looking at the equivalent of roughly five Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburgers.

5.  Dave and Busters Carnivore Pizzadilla: 

To your arteries and waistline, a Carnivore Pizzadilla looks like 100 slices of pepperoni layered atop two Taco Bell Cheese Quesadillas, or half a stick of butter melted over three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese. 

6.  Texas Roadhouse Prime Rib:

The massive 16 oz. Prime Rib alone has 1,570 calories. And one of the possible sides—you get your choice of two—is a real humdinger. For an extra 99¢, the Loaded Sweet Potato (770 calories) buries the tuber under a pile of mini marshmallows and caramel sauce. Add a Caesar salad as your second side, and it’s like eating two of the chain’s 12 oz. New York strip steak dinners (with mashed potatoes and vegetables), plus a slice of strawberry cheesecake.

7.  The Cheesecake Factory Flying Gorilla:

A ‘kicked-up’ chocolate banana milkshake with dark chocolate and banana liqueurs.” And the ever-Xtreme Cheesecake Factory adds just enough alcohol to make you forget that your glass contains 950 calories. How convenient. It’s like kicking off your meal by pouring a 20 oz. Budweiser over five scoops of Breyer’s Chocolate ice cream.   Cheers!

8.  Uno Pizzeria Grill: Ridiculously Awesome, Insanely Large Chocolate Cake:

Aptly named as it rolls in at 1740 calories, 32 grams of saturated fat with 168 Grams of Sugar!   “Nuff said,” says Uno Pizzeria & Grill’s menu. Ditto that!

The good news is you don’t have to avoid eating at restaurants altogether. 

We encourage consumers to use nutrition information to their benefit.  Don’t let it discourage you from ever eating at a restaurant. Almost every retail chain has something moderately healthy and tasteful that you can choose.  Try to reframe your mindsets about eating out. Instead of eating out half your meals, try eating out one or two times per week.  And then enjoy- just not too often!