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The 9 Unhealthiest Restaurant Meals Are …

A Cheesecake Factory chicken entrée that contains as many calories as a 12-piece bucket of KFC fried chicken. A Johnny Rockets’ bacon- cheddar double burger, fries and 1,140-calorie milk shake blended with an entire piece of apple pie. An Uno Chicago Grill deep-dish macaroni with three cheeses that’s equivalent to eating a family-size box of Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese – with half a stick of butter melted on top.

These are among the nine Xtreme Eating “dis-honorees” on the annual list from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

These oversize restaurant meals earned their dubious distinction for being loaded with an eye-popping, artery-clogging amount of fat, calories, sugar and salt – more than most Americans should eat in an entire day, let alone a single meal.

CSPI has been naming these top health offenders for six years, but senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley called this year’s list “the worst of some of the worst,” as she told CNN. Nutritional information for the list came from the restaurants’ own websites.

Despite the health problems caused by obesity in this country, CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson said in a statement that it seems as if some restaurant chains “are scientifically engineering these extreme meals with the express purpose of promoting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. You’d think that the size of their profits depended on their increasing the size of your pants.”

What’s surprising is that even savvy customers might not suspect some of these dishes as being as gut-busting as they are. After all, shrimp and pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes and arugula sounds pretty healthy.

But the Bistro Shrimp Pasta from The Cheesecake Factory, made with crispy battered shrimp, has more fat than even the menu’s cheesecake. The stunning calorie count – 3,120 – is higher than for any other entrée on the menu, and the lemon cream sauce helps bring the dish’s fat count to a whopping 89 grams. To put these numbers in context, most Americans should consume about 2,000 calories daily and no more than 20 grams of saturated fat, health experts say.

Among the list’s dishonorable nominees:

So what can a customer do? Consider sharing one of these monster meals with someone else. Or take half home for lunch the next day, suggests CSPI’s Hurley.

For a CNN slideshow of all nine dubious dishes, click here.


Photo: Todd Patterson/Istockphoto